French gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017 as expected thanks to growth in investment and foreign trade, preliminary estimates from the country's national statistics office showed.
The 0.6% growth seen in the last three months, rose from the 0.5% seen in the third quarter, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), helping the annual rate of GDP growth to 1.9% over the year, up from 1.1% in 2016.
Production and exports
Among the metrics helping French growth in the October-December period was foreign trade, as exports jumped 2.6%, with imports rising just 0.7%.
Total production accelerated by 0.8%, up from 0.7% in the previous quarter as the manufacturing industry produced goods at a higher rate - up 1.5% after a 0.8% rise previously.
On average, year-over-year production sped up - again led by manufacturing - to an annual rate of 2.3%, from 0.9% in 2016.
Another of the fourth-quarter highlights was a pick up in corporate investment, rising 1.1% after a 0.9% rise in the previous quarter, thanks to spending on transport equipment and tradable services such as software publishing.
Annual investment rates as measured by gross fixed capital formation rose sharply - up 3.7% in 2017 from 2.7% in 2016.
"A solid finish to 2017 for the French economy," said Claus Vistesen at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
"Solid growth in investment and production across the key industrial sectors remained the main pillar of support for the French economy in the fourth quarter."
The figures provided little support for the markets in early trade, however. On the foreign exchanges, the euro was down as the dollar’s recent rally continued. The single currency slipped 0.26% to $1.2349.
On the Paris Bourse, the CAC 40 index was down 0.1% to 5,516.8.