RTTNews - The French economy contracted 1.2% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, the statistical office INSEE said Friday. It follows a revised 1.5% contraction in the fourth quarter and a 0.2% fall in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the economy was expected to shrink 1.3% in the first three months of this year.

On an annual basis, the economy contracted 3.2%, while the forecast was for a 2.5% decline.

INSEE said in a separate report that non-farm payroll in the first quarter fell 0.9% sequentially after a 0.7% decline in the previous quarter. It fell a notch higher than the expected contraction of 0.8%. It added that 138,100 jobs have been destroyed in the principally market sectors in metropolitan France. There were 15,751,400 payroll employees in these sectors at the end of March.

Elsewhere, Ministries in charge of Labour and Employment said basic hourly wage of workers increased 0.8% in the first quarter over the previous quarter.

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