French central bank sees near-zero growth in fourth quarter
France's central bank said Friday that growth will likely ground to a near halt in the fourth quarter, confirming forecasts by the nation's statistics agency in another blow to embattled leader Francois Hollande.
The bank said the economy in the last three months of the year would likely grow by just 0.
1 percent after a 0.
2 percent rise in the third quarter of 2014.
Hollande has been unable to kickstart growth in the country since he came to power in 2012, and his approval rating is at a historic low of 12 percent as a staggering 97 percent believe he has failed on the economy.
Unemployment, meanwhile, has risen 27 months out of the 30 he has been in charge.
But in a rare piece of good news, France recorded a small ris in exports in September thanks to a particularly good sales run for Airbus that allowed its trade deficit to drop six percent to 4.
7 billion euros ($5.
8 billion), according to customs figures.
Exports rose 1.
7 percent compared to August, thanks in large part to an increase in Airbus plane deliveries -- 28 aircraft worth a total of 1.
9 billion euros.
Imports, meanwhile, rose just 0.
The government is aiming for a trade deficit of 53 billion euros this year, compared to just over 60 billion euros in 2013.
© 2014 AFP