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French central bank sees third quarter growth slowing to 0.3%

·1-min read
Tourists walk past a restaurant at the Butte Montmartre in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - French economic growth is set to slow in the current quarter as businesses contend with growing uncertainty over energy and consumer spending, the central bank said on Thursday.

After better than expected growth of 0.5% in the second quarter, the euro zone's second biggest economy is on course for quarterly growth of 0.3% in the July-September period, the Bank of France said in its monthly economic outlook.

France's official stats office INSEE forecast on Wednesday that the economy would grow only 0.2% in the third quarter before stagnating in the final quarter.

The central bank said executives reported in its monthly survey in August higher uncertainty over energy prices and possible supply cutoffs as well as changes in consumer behaviour due to high prices. The survey covered 8,500 businesses.

While supply chain difficulties also remained a source of uncertainty, executives' concerns eased for the fourth month in a row with 51% reporting problems in August in the industrial sector and 43% in construction.

The number of companies reporting staffing problems improved only marginally to 57% from 58% in July, the central bank's survey found.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Kim Coghill)