France and Germany post sluggish growth

France and Germany have both recorded positive GDP growth in the third quarter of 2014, although the news has not provided a significant boost to the markets.

Latest figures from Insee, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, showed the French economy grew 0.3 per cent in the third quarter, a significant improvement from the 0.1 per cent contraction in the second quarter - a figure that has been revised downwards from 0 per cent - and zero growth in the first three months of the year.

The statement noted that household consumption spending had increased moderately in the quarter, while general government expenditure had also increased by 0.8 per cent.

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In Germany, however, the GDP growth was less promising with the 0.1 per cent figure only just stopping the country from falling into a technical recession – defined as two successive quarters of contracting growth – following its contraction of 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

The statement accompanying the figures from the Federal Statistical Office, stated the German economy “turned out to be stable in a difficult global economic environment”. It attributed the growth to increased household spending in the third quarter, while “foreign trade also supported the German economy”.

The growth figures, however, had a limited impact on markets in early trading, with the French Cac 40 rising just 0.32 per cent, and the German Dax up 0.2 per cent while the FTSE EuroFirst 300 slipped 0.03 per cent.