© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cranes are seen at a construction site in Nice, France, May 11, 2023. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – The French economy is on course to eke out meagre growth in the second quarter as industrial and service activity picks up, the central bank said on Thursday in its monthly business climate report.

The euro zone’s second-biggest economy is set to grow 0.1% in the April through June period from the previous quarter, when it expanded 0.2%, the Bank of France said.

In its monthly survey of 8,500 firms, the central bank said industrial companies saw a slight pick-up in activity in May and expected to gain further momentum in June, as car and electronics makers benefit from easing supply chain issues.

The service sector saw activity improve in May and expected a further pick-up this month, the central bank said. Construction saw business slip in May, but an improvement was seen this month.

Price pressures remained in retreat across the board with only 10% of industrial firms saying they had raised prices – little changed from the previous month and comparable to pre-COVID crisis levels.

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In services, 12% of firms reported they were raising prices, down from 19% the previous month, while only 15% of construction companies said they were raising prices, down from 23%.

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