France’s economy grew 0.3% in the second quarter of the year – ending the country’s worst recession in decades, according to government estimates released today.
Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said: “France is finally coming out of the red.”
Ms Lagarde welcomed the “very encouraging development, which distinguishes France among developed economies”.
She said a stimulus plan for the car industry helped France weather the global financial downturn.
The growth in the second quarter follows a 1.2% contraction in the first quarter, according to a preliminary estimate by state statistics agency Insee.
The new figures marked France’s first economic growth since the first quarter of 2008.
While that means the recession is technically ended, the expansion is still small and Ms Lagarde warned in a statement that the labour market would remain tight in the coming quarters.