British, French Economies Up in Q4

Britain saw an expansion of 0.4% while France saw an increase of 0.6%

The British economy emerged from a record-length recession in the fourth quarter of 2009 with upwardly-revised expansion of 0.4%, official data showed on March 30.

"For the year 2009 as a whole, GDP contracted by 4.9%," the Office for National Statistics said.

While the French economy shrank by 2.2% last year, the worst recession since World War II, it registered growth of 0.6% in the last quarter, the INSEE statistics agency said on March 30.

The agency revised its growth forecast downward for this year and said gross domestic output was expected to climb 0.2% for the first quarter this year and 0.3% for the second.

The government is banking on growth of 1.4% for the whole year in the hope that this will begin to make a dent in the jobless rate, which at 10% has reached its highest level in a decade.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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