The French economy eked out lower-than-expected growth in 2010, but hopeful numbers for the first quarter may be the beginnings of a better year for the France and its exchange traded fund (ETF).

After a recorded growth of 1.5% in 2010, French growth stands at around 1.7%, which is below the eurozone average, according to The Connexion. Economy Minister Christine Lagarde, though, believes that an 0.8% rise in GDP in the first quarter could be an indication that the country should experience a 2% economic expansion for 2011.

Lagarde stated that the government will maintain an inflation target of 1.5% and added that the expected 2010 budget deficit could be less than 7.7%, writes John Irish for Reuters. [Pessimism Hurts France ETF.]

In France this weekend, G20 countries will meet to discuss the ways implement policies to address the current trade imbalance issues in the world economy, reports Daniel Flynn for Reuters. Some of the imbalances can be seen where China saved and exported while Europe and the U.S. heavily consumed.

The meeting will showcase President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ambitious proposals of curbing food and fuel prices volatility and slowly diminish the world’s dependence of the dollar standard.

One thing France has going for it: it’s largely dodged some of the debt troubles that have plagued several other European nations. That alone could reap dividends for the country.

For more information on France, visit our France category.

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Max Chen contributed to this article.

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