40487
France, Spain Growth Beat Forecasts Rates
World Economy

France, Spain Growth Beat Forecasts Rates

The French and Spanish economies grew faster than economists forecast in the first quarter, suggesting some momentum in the eurozone’s expansion.
French economic growth firmed at the start of the year, statistics showed Friday, indicating the eurozone’s second-largest economy is on a gradual recovery path.
French gross domestic product expanded 0.5% in the first quarter from the final quarter of 2015, when it grew 0.3%, national statistics agency Insee said, news outlets reported.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.4% expansion in the first quarter.
In France, consumer spending rebounded sharply after a lull at the end of 2015 and business investment growth accelerated. The strength of those domestic growth engines more than offset a 0.2 percentage point drag on GDP from foreign trade.
In a preliminary reading of gross domestic product for the quarter, Insee said the €2 trillion ($2.28 trillion) economy had accelerated from the 0.3% growth posted in the previous three months, with a 1.6% increase in corporate investment offering hope the stronger growth could be sustained.
The figures mark the third straight quarter of GDP expansion and support President Francois Hollande’s claim that the economic situation is improving after years of near stagnation.
But the steady pace of the recovery has so far proven insufficient to halt the rise in France’s public debt levels or make a significant dent in near record-high unemployment.
Hollande, whose government is trying to push through a long-awaited reform aimed at making France’s rigid labor laws more flexible, received a boost this week as data showed that French unemployment in March saw the biggest monthly fall in 15 years.
The number of people out of work in mainland France dropped 60,000 compared with February to 3.53 million, down 1.7% in a single month, the country’s labor ministry said late Tuesday.
In Spain, the economy grew at an unchanged rate of 0.8% during the first quarter. That was despite a period of political uncertainty economists feared would hinder consumer spending and investment.
Spaniards are set to vote a second time in June after no single party won an outright majority in December elections.
The chief executive of Banco Santander SA, the largest bank in Spain and the eurozone by market value, was sanguine on Thursday at an earnings presentation.
“The recovery is sustained,” Jose Antonio Alvarez said. Political uncertainty could chip away at economic growth by a tenth of a percentage point, Alvarez added, but it won’t derail Spain’s strong growth.
And while Spanish consumer confidence levels have fallen since the beginning of the year, they are still close to pre-crisis levels, when consumption grew strongly, notes Ignacio de la Torre, chief economist at boutique investment bank Arcano Group in Madrid. Car sales are also up.
“During 2016 and 2017, Spain will enjoy greater economic growth than many of its neighboring countries as wages recover,” de la Torre wrote in an April research report. Spain “will continue to generate large volumes of employment and real estate continues with its recovery.”

Short URL : http://goo.gl/JkXe70
  1. http://goo.gl/TEbfEC
  • http://goo.gl/NfJYMf
  • http://goo.gl/KkaxP5
  • http://goo.gl/XgFkQq
  • http://goo.gl/b7KkEH

You can also read ...

Philippines May Suspend Excise Taxes on Petroleum Products
The Philippine government will suspend the collection of...
Jordan Approves New IMF-Guided Tax Law
Jordan’s cabinet on Monday approved major IMF-guided proposals...
At present, the majority of investments are still being done in oil-gas and traditional industries while there is still almost no SME sector in the country.
While Saudi Arabia’s latest budget figures show progress in...
US, China are nearing a deal to remove American sales ban against ZTE.
US President Donald Trump retreated from imposing tariffs on...
Dubai Bank to Buy Turkey’s Denizbank for $3.2 Billion
Dubai’s biggest lender the National Bank of Dubai has agreed...
IHS Markit to  Buy Rival Ipreo  for $1.8 Billion
Data firm IHS Markit Ltd. said it will buy smaller rival Ipreo...
SBI Reports Record $1.1b Loss
State Bank of India reported a loss of Rs. 7,718 crore ($1.1...
EU, Mercosur Discuss Trade Deal
The European Union and South America’s Mercosur bloc could...

Trending

Googleplus