Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Business

French economy grinds to a halt in first quarter, worse than forecast

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s economy ground unexpectedly to a halt in the first quarter as consumer spending dropped in the face of an energy price shock and war in Ukraine, preliminary data from the INSEE official stats agency showed on Friday.

The zero growth in the first quarter marks a sharp slowdown from the final three months of 2021, when the euro zone’s second-biggest economy expanded 0.8%, which was revised up from 0.7% previously.

That was weaker than expectations for growth of 0.3% in a Reuters poll of 24 economists which ranged from 0.6% to -0.1%.

Household spending, the traditional driver of French growth, fell 1.3% in the quarter as high energy prices and the war in Ukraine hit consumer confidence.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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