French GDP growth to better forecast: Raffarin

27th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 27 (AFP) - Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told lawmakers Tuesday that the French economy was poised to grow 2.3 percent this year rather than the government’s initial forecast of 1.7 percent.

PARIS, July 27 (AFP) - Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told lawmakers Tuesday that the French economy was poised to grow 2.3 percent this year rather than the government’s initial forecast of 1.7 percent.

Raffarin also told the National Assembly that he "will maintain the goal of zero growth in state spending" in the 2005 budget, which is currently under preparation.

"We will reduce the deficit by several billion euros by controlling expenses ... We will also take budgetary and legislative measures that are necessary to restore purchasing power to the French people," he said.

Raffarin in addition took a swipe at the 35-hour work week, established under the former Socialist administration of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, asserting that it had "killed growth starting in 2000."

"Growth - it's the work of the French people. Let's not forget that truth."

Citing a recent projection by the French national statistics institute INSEE, Raffarin said his government was "today on a forecast of growth of 2.3 percent" this year.

INSEE late last month said French growth should reach 2.3 percent in 2004, surpassing the anticipated average growth rate in the 12-nation euro zone this year.

In another report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted Tuesday that the euro zone economy was likely to grow by 1.5 percent this year and by 2.5 percent in 2005.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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