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French central bank cuts Q1 growth forecast

France's central bank expects the domestic economy to grow 0.3% in the first quarter, down from its previous forecast of 0.4%.

The forecast revision, which comes as part of the Banque de France's monthly business survey, suggests that the French economy would grow at the same rate of expansion for a third straight quarter.

The central bank's business sentiment indicator for the manufacturing sector rose to 101 in February from 99 a month ago as production bounced back, particularly in IT products, chemicals and machinery, and equipment. Business leaders in the sector expect activity to continue to grow at the same pace in March.

The index for service sector sentiment was stable at 101 in February, with aggregate demand climbing month over month and prices accelerating slightly. The sentiment indicator for construction also remained unchanged at 105.