May 13, 2019 / 6:36 AM / 8 days ago

Bank of France estimates second quarter French GDP growth at 0.3 percent

FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind loading cranes in the old harbour of Marseille, France, June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

PARIS (Reuters) - The French economy should grow 0.3 percent in the second quarter, the Bank of France forecast on Monday, as the euro zone’s second-biggest economy maintains a relatively steady pace of growth despite the impact of anti-government protests.

The Bank of France added in a monthly business survey that sentiment in the French manufacturing industry had dipped to 99 points in April from 100 points in March, and also fell to 100 points in April from 101 in March in the services sector.

Last month, official data showed that the French economy had registered 0.3 percent growth for the first quarter of 2019, marking its third quarter in a row of growth at that rate.

However, some economists were disappointed consumer spending had not rebounded more strongly, given government pledges to cut taxes and boost pensions in response to the “yellow vest” street protests that have hit France since November.

The government outlined a 10 billion-euro ($11.2 billion)package in December, aimed at boosting the incomes of the poorest workers and pensioners.

President Emmanuel Macron followed that up in late April with a pledge to cut income tax by 5 billion euros, in response to the ongoing protests.

($1 = 0.8904 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain

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