July 11, 2018 / 6:41 AM / in 4 months

World Cup good for French economic growth: finance minister

Soccer Football - World Cup - Semi-Final - France vs Belgium - Paris, France, July 10, 2018 - France fans react on the Champs-Elysees after defeating Belgium in their World Cup semi-final match. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s World Cup soccer triumphs, which have taken “Les Bleus” to the tournament final, should be generally positive for the country’s economy, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

France beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to go to Sunday’s final, when they will play either England or Croatia.

“It’s good for growth,” Le Maire told France 2 television on Wednesday, without giving any more specific details.

The French economy, the second-biggest in the euro zone, has recently shown signs of stalling after a pick-up that followed President Emmanuel Macron’s election in May last year.

The World Cup often boosts consumer spending. In Britain, shoppers spent more on beer, barbecues and big-screen televisions in June but the overall increase in sales slowed, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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