PARIS Feb 8 France's economy will expand by 0.3 percent in the
first quarter, the Bank of France said on Wednesday in its first forecast for
the period, showing a slight deceleration from the 0.4 percent growth posted in
the final quarter.
The Bank of France added that the business sentiment indicator for the
manufacturing industry had edged down to 101 points in January compared to 102
in December, but the central bank said business leaders expected production to
increase in February.
The business climate indicator for the dominant services sector rose to 101
points in January, the highest reading since June 2011, compared to an upwardly
revised 100 in December, it added.
"According to business leaders, activity should rise again in February," the
bank said in a statement.
Activity remained unchanged in the construction sector, with the index
standing at 100 points. Business managers expect activity to increase this
month, the bank said.
For a graphic of GDP by contributions: link.reuters.com/pyx28s
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)