France 'to avoid double-dip recession'

French President Francois Hollande French President Francois Hollande has been seeking to revive the economy

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France will avoid a recession this year, according to the country's statistics body.

INSEE said the economy will grow 0.4% in the last three months of the year, after contracting 0.1% in the third quarter.

President Francois Hollande has been under pressure to revive the economy as other eurozone nations start growing and show signs of recovery.

The body predicted growth of 0.2% for the whole of 2013.

France was last in recession in the first quarter of this year.

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A recession is when an economy shrinks for two consecutive quarters. There were fears of a French "double-dip" recession, where an economy returns to recession after experiencing a short-lived recovery, but the country's statistics agency thinks this will now be avoided.

Europe's largest economy, Germany, has seen much of its economic success during the debt crisis driven by exports. By contrast, INSEE said French exports fell by 1.3% in the third quarter.

French household spending rose by 0.1% in the third quarter.

The government forecasts economic growth of 0.9% in 2014, lowered from a previous 1.2% forecast, with just 0.1% in growth forecast for this year.

France has not had a year of negative growth since 2009.

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