French minister says 2013 growth might be less than 0.8%

6th December 2012, Comments 0 comments

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said Thursday that the government's 2013 growth forecast of 0.8 percent was at the high end of a range and that the final figure could well come in lower.

"I'd say that it is at the high end of the realistic range, it could end up being a bit less," said Moscovici.

It was difficult in the current economic conditions to forecast growth a year out that is closer than 0.5 percentage points, the minister added.

Moscovici said that "0.8 percent is a rate that France could easily attain if the situation in the eurozone stabilises, we stimulate investment and support consumption."

The government based its 2013 budget, and a pledge to meet its EU obligation of reducing the public deficit to 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), on the 0.8 percent forecast that is considered too optimistic by many economists.

According to a forecast by the OECD released last month, the French economy, the eurozone's second biggest, may only grow by 0.3 percent next year.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts 0.4 percent growth.


© 2012 AFP

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