France slashes 2009 growth forecast
French economic growth forecast has been slashed from 1.0 percent to 0.2-0.5 percent.
6 November 2008
PARIS - France on Thursday slashed its economic growth forecast for 2009 to 0.2-0.5 percent from 1.0 percent blaming fallout from the global financial crisis.
Economy and Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told the Senate that the forecast for 2010 had been cut to 2.0 percent from 2.5 percent.
She said the forecast for inflation next year had been cut to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent earlier.
The minister said that growth forecast for next year was "the lowest ever used by a government in France" but that it was realistic.
The government had cut the forecast to take account of the fact the financial crisis had worsened and because the effects "are beginning to be felt and are going to last for several quarters", she said.
The crisis would "leave lasting effects on economies".
The forecast for inflation had been lowered to take account of a fall in prices for raw materials.
The government had also changed its expectations for the exchange rate, to a rate of EUR 1 to USD 1.33 in 2009 instead of USD 1.45 expected previously.
But the negative effects of the crisis would count more than the beneficial effects of a fall in inflation and of the value of the euro against the dollar, Lagarde said.
[AFP / Expatica]