February 9, 2018 / 7:55 AM / 9 days ago

French industrial production up 0.5 percent in December, beating forecasts

PARIS (Reuters) - French industrial production rose by 0.5 percent in December from the previous month, beating forecasts, according to data from the INSEE national statistics agency.

The growth in December industrial production was led by higher production in areas such as metallurgy, software and electronics goods, and it beat a Reuters forecast for growth of 0.1 percent.

INSEE also said that manufacturing output advanced by 0.3 percent in December.

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

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.

Lorne Baring, chief investment officer at fund management firm B Capital SA, said the broader economic backdrop still looked positive, in spite of concerns in financial markets about higher interest rates and inflation.

“Asset prices in many regions are still looking attractive and with a strong global economic background in support, they will appreciate in well diversified portfolios,” said Baring.

“Will there be another bump in the road? There has to be. In the meantime, the long-term investor should keep invested and look at the bigger picture,” he added

Reporting by Sudip Kar-GuptaEditing by Dominique Vidalon

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