French economy to see slightly positive first quarter growth - central bank

The skyline of La Defense business district seen from Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - The French economy is on course to eke out slightly positive growth this quarter after growing 0.1% in the previous quarter, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The Bank of France said companies polled in its monthly business sentiment survey reported activity slightly stronger in January than had been expected last month.

For February, companies expected a slight slowdown in the service sector, stable activity in the industrial sector and a downturn in construction, the central bank said.

Meanwhile, supply chain troubles eased sharply in industry, with only 33% of companies mentioning it as an issue in January after 40% had in December, while in the construction sector the number fell to 31% from 33%.

Companies also reported an increase in selling prices, as they often do at the start of the year, but it was less pronounced than at the beginning of last year.

The number of firms having staffing troubles also fell, declining for the fourth month in a row to 51%, the central bank said.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Alex Richardson)