France lowers 2012 growth forecast to 1 percent: Sarkozy

27th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday the country had lowered its economic growth forecast for next year from 1.75 percent to 1.0 percent.

Speaking in a national television interview, Sarkozy said the French government would have to find six to eight billion euros in supplementary budget savings and that decisions on this would be taken "within 10 days."

He said he would announce budgetary measures after the November 3-4 summit of G20 countries in the southern French city of Cannes.

He provided no details but said he would "give preference to measures that will reinforce the competitiveness" of the French economy.

"The key is growth and jobs," he said.

He also excluded that France would turn to an overall increase of its value-added tax to make up for budget shortfalls.

"In no case will there be a generalised increase in the VAT. This is for a simple reason: this would weigh on the purchasing power of the French people, on French consumption," he said, adding that this would be "unjust".

© 2011 AFP

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