French economy grows faster than expected as consumer spending returns

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The 0.5% growth in first quarter is good news for embattled president François Hollande as he tries to convince public the situation is improving.

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French growth accelerated more than expected at the start of the year, as the strongest increase in consumer spending since 2004 and a pick-up in business investment offset a drop in exports, a boost to President François Hollande who has been struggling to convince voters their lives are "going better", reports Reuters.