World Economy

France GDP Growth Estimated at 0.5 Percent

France GDP Growth Estimated at 0.5 PercentFrance GDP Growth Estimated at 0.5 Percent

Bank of France maintained on Monday its forecast for French quarterly gross domestic product growth of 0.5% in the third quarter, unchanged from the second quarter. The prediction was part of the central bank’s August business climate survey.

The survey showed that the business sentiment indicator for the manufacturing industry dipped to 104 points in August from 105 points in July, although sentiment in the services industry rose to 100 points last month from 99 points in July, Reuters reported.

Business sentiment indicator for the construction industry also rose to 103 points in August from 102 in July.

In June, the national statistics agency INSEE forecast economic growth in France this year of 1.6%, the strongest since 2011, as foreign trade proves less of a drag and the unemployment rate falls.

On a path of profound transformation—that’s the promise of President Emmanuel Macron to reform the jobs market in France. Major proposals have been unveiled aimed at reviving the second-largest economy in the eurozone.

Following years of stagnation, the government wants to reduce unemployment, limit the power of trade unions and make it easier for companies to create jobs.

Trade union leaders are opposing making it easier to “hire and fire” workers—and what they say is an attack on employee rights and social welfare. That fighting talk will test Macron’s ability to force change when his predecessors failed.

And with his popularity already waning after less than four months in power, the likely showdown is a further risk to the popularity of the youngest-ever president of France.

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