France's preliminary gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% during the second quarter, beating forecasts and offering an element of respite for the euro zone's second-biggest economy, which is facing headwinds from rising inflation.
The preliminary second quarter GDP figures, released by France's INSEE statistics body, beat forecasts in a Reuters poll which had predicted 0.2% growth for the quarter.
The French economy got a boost from exports, added INSEE, although analysts said near-term pressures remained in terms of inflation. Data on Friday showed that preliminary inflation for July stood at 6.8%.
France's High Council on Public Finances (HCFP) also published a report on Friday in which it estimated that President Emmanuel Macron's government was too optimistic about the economic outlook.
"Growth has been supported by increased exports, however, the underlying picture is less positive," said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
"Household consumption fell in the quarter, likely a result of increased fiscal prudence, while government spending also came off the boil. The overall data set is of course a relief but this has done little to completely erode recessionary fears," she added. (Reporting by Myriam Rivet and Michal Aleksandrowicz; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)