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France reports zero growth
France reports zero growth

France has reported zero growth in the second quarter as consumer spending shrank and imports grew.

The official Insee statistics agency released preliminary estimates today in line with its earlier forecast of zero growth for gross domestic product in the quarter. It is the third straight quarter without growth.

The central bank and analysts had forecast a 0.1 per cent contraction for the quarter.

France has so far avoided a new recession even as other European economies have succumbed amid the continent's debt crisis.

Insee also said consumer spending shrank and imports grew more than exports.

Meanwhile Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has reported 0.3 per cent growth for the second quarter, the federal statistical office says.

The office said that the economy was helped by both consumer consumption and the balance of exports and imports.

The growth was slightly higher than the 0.2 per cent gain in gross domestic product predicted by many economists, but still represents a slowdown from the 0.5 per cent growth in the first quarter.

The government is predicting overall growth of 0.7 per cent this year, though others are forecasting slightly more robust gains.