France pleads for more time but denies it is turning into the new “sick man of Europe” even as data points to a deepening French downturn.
France should avoid slipping into recession in the first quarter, but growth is well below government forecast on which deficit target was set.
President Hollande conceded France will miss its 0.8 percent 2013 target, after foreign minister said growth could be less than half that level.
The French economy contracted towards the end of 2012 and will barely grow in the first half of next year says national statistics agency Insee.
Economy needs to start growing again and quickly for France to meet its budget deficit targets, after latest forecasts from statistics agency Insee.
President Francois Hollande should make tough savings and public sector job cuts to meet a European deficit target, says the national audit office.
The new government has warned it will cut its economic growth forecasts for this year and next, which could point to a need for greater austerity.
The national statistics institute says growth this year will be slightly less than the 0.5 percent previously forecast and budgeted by the government.
France sends EU leaders proposals for a 120 billion-euro 'growth pact', including a financial transaction tax it wants Europe to adopt this year.
France’s newly-elected president François Hollande has promised he will seek a reform of European austerity policies, beginning with a re-negotiation of the so-called fiscal compact treaty, and the introduction of economic growth initiatives. But his programme faces stern opposition from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has ruled out any change to the fiscal compact. With a busy international agenda ahead, including summits of the G8 and NATO later this month, and crucial parliamentary elections in France in June, Hollande's room for negotiations before an EU summit on June 28th is uncomfortably tight. Meanwhile, the deepening political crisis in Greece continues to threaten an explosion of the eurozone. Lénaïg Bredoux and Ludovic Lamant report on the official and unofficial manouevering as the new French president prepares for his first major test in power.
The French economy posted no growth in the first quarter and there are no signs of a strong recovery in activity ahead, reports the Bank of France.