Bank of France estimates first-quarter French GDP growth at 0.4 percent

FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers sit stacked at the Port 2000 terminal in the Port of Le Havre, France March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s economy is expected to grow by 0.4 percent in the first quarter, the Bank of France reported on Thursday, adding it expected a pick-up in business in the construction and industrial sectors in February.

Official data at the end of January showed that the French economy had grown 1.9 percent over 2017 - its strongest performance since 2011.

The Bank of France’s business sentiment indicator for the country’s services sector stood at 103 points in January - stable compared to December and at the highest level seen since May 2011.

Its business sentiment indicator for the manufacturing industry dipped to 105 points from 107 in December, however.

Official readings of business and consumer confidence have scaled multi-year peaks since the election of President Emmanuel Macron last May on the back of an agenda to reform the economy and help businesses.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta