French economy grows 0.3 percent in third quarter

14th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

France's economy grew by 0.

3 percent in the third quarter, official statistics published Friday showed, as the eurozone's second largest economy battles to exit a prolonged slump.

French gross domestic product expanded 0.

3 percent, according to a preliminary estimate by the INSEE agency, following zero growth in the first quarter and a contraction of 0.

1 percent in the second quarter.

INSEE revised down its second quarter figures, having previously said the economy had flatlined.

France's Finance Minister Michel Sapin said the data confirmed the government's forecast of 0.

4 percent growth for the full year.

"Economic activity has picked up slightly but remains too weak to ensure the job creation our country needs," Sapin said in a statement.

Even France's own economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, has said that the economy is "sick", as the deeply unpopular government of President Francois Hollande battles high unemployment and sluggish output.

The government, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), forecast growth of 0.

4 percent this year, expanding to 1.

0 percent in 2015.

In comparison, the IMF sees the wider eurozone growing 0.

8 percent this year and 1.

3 percent in 2015.

The eurozone is largely being held up by economic powerhouse Germany, with estimates saying its GDP will grow by 1.

4 percent and 1.

5 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Hollande's plan to get France out of the morass is his much-vaunted Responsibility Pact, which revolves around a package of tax cuts for business worth 40 billion euros ($50 billion), in exchange for a pledge to create 500,000 jobs.

However, Hollande also has to keep a close eye on the country's deficit, which is set to bust EU limits until 2017.

He has therefore also proposed a series of spending cuts worth some 50 billion euros over three years.

© 2014 AFP

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