PARIS, Jan 31, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - The French economy dodged a contraction in the final quarter of 2022 despite inflation forcing households to reduce spending, and grew 2.6 percent for the year, data showed on Tuesday.
The figures were better than projections of gross domestic product (GDP) expanding at 2.5 percent for the year, and for a contraction of 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, when in fact the French economy grew by 0.1 percent, according to data released by the government's INSEE statistics office.
The momentum from a strong rebound at the end of 2021, as the country recovered from the downturn caused by the Covid pandemic, helped at the start of 2022, before rising inflation and the fallout from the Ukraine war began to put the brakes on growth.
Household spending dropped by 0.9 percent by in the final three months of the year, but foreign trade contributed positively as imports fell by 1.9 percent, outweighing a 0.3 percent dip in exports.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the result was "testimony to the strong rebound of our economy after the Covid shock and its resilience in the face of the energy crisis", praising the "exceptional ... resistance capacity" of French companies and households.