French economic growth slowed to 1.5% last year from 2.3% in 2017, hit by weaker consumer demand amid the turmoil of end-year "yellow vest" protests, official figures showed today. 

The official INSEE statistics office said consumer spending was unchanged in the last three months of 2018.

This compared with a rise of 0.4% in the third quarter, as the protests against increased taxes and falling living standards caused widespread disruption. 

External trade provided support for the French economy in the fourth quarter, along with goods and services but investment was weak, INSEE said. 

Exports rose 3.1% last year, compared with a gain of 4.7% in 2017, while imports were up 1.1% after a rise of 4.1%.