The French economy reported today strong GDP figures for the first quarter, as the expansion picked up momentum in the first three months of the year despite all the downside pressures seen.

According to the preliminary first quarter GDP reading, the French economy expanded 1.0% in the three months from a revised 0.3% in the fourth quarter from 0.4%, beating the expected 0.6%. On the year the economy expanded 2.2% from a revised 1.4% from 1.5% and also stronger than 1.8% expansion pace expected.