France set for steady growth

Paris, Nov 16 | Updated: Nov 17 2005, 06:19am hrs
The outlook for French business activity in the coming months is positive, but firms have cut their investment expectations for 2005 and the jobs market remains soft, reports showed on Wednesday. The Bank of France, which sounds out some 12,000 firms each month, said its October business survey pointed to economic growth of 0.5% in the fourth quarter of this year for average annual growth in 2005 of 1.6%. Frances conservative government forecasts growth of 1.5-2.0% in 2005 and 2.0-2.5 percent in 2006.