French economy to keep growing in 2018

France's return to economic growth is expected to continue in 2018, at the same pace as its European neighbors, the National Statistics Agency said on Tuesday.

Citing a "buoyant" global environment, INSEE revised upwards its growth estimate for 2017 from 1.8% to 1.9%.

"Growth has been established since the end of 2016 at a sustained pace of about 0.5% per quarter," said INSEE head Julien Pouget at a press conference. press conference, predicting an upward trend until mid-2018.

Last week, the European Central Bank predicted growth of 2.3% for the 19 eurozone members for next year, a leap from its estimate of 1.8% in September .

French GDP growth is driven by a greatly improved business climate, reducing dependence on household consumption.

But Germany 's forecasts that the ECB anticipates 2.6% for the year and 2.5% in 2018 are far from optimistic for the EU.

Especially for French centrist president Emmanuel Macron, French unemployment is expected to stabilize around 9.4% by mid-2018, its lowest level since early 2012.

Unemployment was a constant thorn in the camp of Macron's socialist predecessor, Francois Hollande, who failed to move the needle much less than 10% during his only term in power.

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