France faces "fragile" recovery, outlook uncertain: IMF

17th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The French economic recovery remains fragile and its prospects are uncertain, the IMF said Thursday, urging the government to stick to its budget cutting commitments.

"Adequate measures helped France to exit early from the recession but the recovery is fragile and now being challenged by weakening domestic and European demand," the International Monetary Fund said following a mission here.

"Growth is expected to be sluggish in 2010 and only pick up slightly over the course of 2011," a report said.

The IMF warned that high unemployment, the withdrawal of economic stimulus measures and budget cuts will likely weigh on demand.

The Fund has forecast that the French economy will expand 1.5 percent this year, after a contraction of 2.5 percent in 2009, and 1.8 percent in 2011.

The French government foresees growth of 1.4 percent this year and 2.5 percent from 2011 to 2013.

"With turbulence in European sovereign debt markets and a challenging domestic reform agenda, the outlook for France is subject to high uncertainty," the report said.

It called on the French authorities to continue efforts to restore growth and confidence, and to draft a "credible multi-year (budget) consolidation strategy underpinned by pension reform."

© 2010 AFP

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