French PM sees economy growing below target

1st September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Francois Fillon hopes the French economy will still grow this year at about one percent, well down on the government's target of 1.7 to 2.0 percent.

1 September 2008

PARIS -- Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Monday said he hoped the French economy will still grow this year at about one percent, well down on the government's target of 1.7 to 2.0 percent.

"I hope that it will at least be one percent and I hope that it will be a little bit more than one percent," Fillon told Europe 1 radio.

The government based its 2008 budget on a growth rate of 2.25 percent but subsequently set the target at 1.7 to 2.0 percent as the US and European economies slowed in the face of a global credit crunch and soaring oil and other commodity prices.

"We are being hit by a very, very serious slowdown in the world economy," Fillon told Europe 1.

Fillion declined to use the word 'recession' to describe the situation, saying: "When there is growth, you do not talk about a recession."

The prime minister insisted he believed there would be growth in 2008 and 2009.

For the first time since 2002, the economy contracted, by 0.3 percent, in the second quarter and economists say France will be in a full-blown recession if the figures continue to drop in the third quarter.

[AFP / Expatica]

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