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French GDP grows 0.3% in Q1

The French economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, down from the upwardly revised 0.4% growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018, data from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies showed.

The seasonally adjusted reading was in line with the Econoday consensus estimate and the Banque de France's forecast.

Household expenditure grew 0.4% in the three months ending March, compared to the 0.3% growth in the previous quarter. Government expenditure growth slowed to 0.2% from 0.4% in the last quarter of 2018.

Exports rose 0.4% in the first quarter, slowing from the 2.0% increase in the three months ending December 2018, while import growth accelerated to 1.4% from 1.1%. Total gross fixed capital formation increased 0.5% in the first quarter, following a 0.6% increase in the previous quarter.

The French central bank expects quarterly GDP growth to remain at 0.3% in the second quarter.