The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This 1999 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic recovery in France-which began hesitantly in the mid-1990s-strengthened in the first half of 1998 when internal demand became the driving force in a setting of price stability, strong competitiveness, and falling interest rates. By summer 1998, though, a weaker external environment in the wake of the emerging market crises had started to dampen the upswing. Activity softened as business confidence deteriorated and excessive inventories were worked out. Nonetheless, GDP growth for the year was still the fastest in the decade.