French economy grew 1.7% last year

France’s GDP grew slightly in the last quarter of 2011, bringing total economic growth for the year to 1.7%.

France’s GDP grew slightly in the last quarter of 2011, bringing total economic growth for the year to 1.7%.

The figure, announced today by the national statistics agency Insee, is slightly below the government’s projection in October of 1.75%.

The French government has repeatedly revised down its growth expectations for this year and last year in recent months, forcing new budget cuts to keep it on track to balance its budget by 2016.

It now expects growth for 2012 to be just 0.5%.

Those commitments are important to reassuring investors, skittish amid Europe’s debt crisis, and for France’s presidential campaign.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has staked his credibility on reducing the deficit.

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