PARIS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- France's gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded 0.9 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of this year, signaling a stronger economic performance after being stable in the first quarter, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) said on Friday.
"GDP closed more than one-fifth of the gap to its pre-crisis level remaining at the end of 2020," the institute said.
In Q2 2021, France's GDP was 3.3 percent below the level of the fourth quarter of 2019 (before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic), as compared to 4.2 percent in the two previous quarters, it said.
A gradual return to normalcy offered relief to households, which spent 0.9 percent more in Q2 after 0.2 percent in the first quarter. Final internal demand (excluding inventory changes) remained dynamic and contributed to GDP growth by 0.9 points, INSEE data showed.
Household consumption, one of France's key growth engines, was boosted by a 42.8 percent increase in expenditure on hotel and restaurant services. Expenditure on transport services was up 11.4 percent due to the recovery of people mobility.
Investment accelerated 1.1 percent in Q2 from its 0.4 percent gain a quarter earlier. The main reason was buoyant investment in construction and market services, which increased by 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, over the period.
Speaking on France info radio early on Friday, Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire hailed "an exceptional performance by the French economy."
"This will allow us to reach the six percent (GDP growth) that we set for 2021 and to recover to the pre-crisis level at the beginning of 2022," he said.