The French government has admitted that it is unlikely to maintain its growth forecast for this year after unexpectedly glum economic development in 2012. A downward revision could imperil France's deficit target.
The French government will likely have to revise its growth outlook downwards, France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday, with the new rate of economic expansion projected to come in at "around 0.2 to 0.3 percent."
"I confirm that we will be obliged to revise our target for a simple reason. That is that in 2012 we anticipated weak growth of 0.5 percent, but it was zero," Fabius told RTL radio.
Fabius said a precise figure for 2013 growth was yet to be determined by the government.
The revision of France's growth estimate would be the second within a year after an original forecast of 1.2 percent made last year had to be downgraded to 0.8 percent as the country's economy sharply contracted at the end of 2012.
The new outlook was prompted as things across Europe didn't seem to be going at all well, the French foreign minister said.
As France's unemployment has reached its highest level in 15 years, economists have been saying for months that Europe's second largest economy is unlikely to meet projected growth and deficit levels for 2013.
Last week, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault admitted that the 2013 budget deficit would probably exceed the European Union's target of 3 percent of gross domestic product.
uhe/kms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)