seeing some signs of business slowdown By Reuters

seeing some signs of business slowdown By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Newly-elected French employers body MEDEF union leader Patrick Martin poses after a meeting to elect a new leader of the French business organisation MEDEF, in Meudon, near Paris, France, July 6, 2023. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – There are signs of a slowdown in business activity in France and interest rates are also weighing on businesses, Patrick Martin, the head of France’s Medef business lobby group, said on Monday.

France’s economic growth was resilient in the second quarter, Martin told France 2 TV, but he added that there were nevertheless indications of slower activity.

“But we see things are slowing down, investment is slowing down, consumption is slowing down” he said.

“The issue of high interest rates is also weighing on business activity”, he added.

Recent business surveys showed that the euro zone’s second-largest economy is being dragged down by a contraction in the country’s dominant services sector while industrial output has been ailing for months.

In this context, France is facing additional risks if the government does not manage to keep up with large-scale investment schemes seen in rivalling economies, Martin said, citing the United States and Germany in particular.

Data published in July showed that France’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in the second quarter, beating forecasts.

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