France sees surprise Q4 growth as Germany contracts

The French economy has confounded expectations of a contraction by growing 0.2% in Q4, with a 0.2% contraction in German GDP also better than expected.

Economists had expected France to record a 0.2% contraction for the final three months of last year, with Germany expected to post a 0.3% contraction over the same period.

In France, indicators suggested a contraction in consumer spending and industrial output but an increase in production and investment helped stave off a contraction, according to national statistics office Insee.

Similarly, preliminary data in German said investments, notably in consumption, helped boost Q4 GDP, though trade and private consumption dragged on the figures. German Q3 GDP was also revised up from 0.5% to 0.6%.

The figures follow yesterday’s monthly ZEW barometer, which revealed German investor confidence has jumped to a 10-month high in February.

The eurozone has been widely forecast to fall into recession in 2012, with expectations that Q4 GDP for the region as a whole will see a contraction of 0.4%. The figures are published later this morning.


This article was first published on Investment Week

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