France GDP outlook

PARIS: France’s statistics agency Insee on Friday lowered its forecast for economic growth this year to 1.1 per cent from its previous estimate of 1.2 per cent due to the ‘unpleasant surprise’ of zero growth in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, Insee has predicted France’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 0.2 per cent, slower than the earlier 0.3 per cent forecast, and by 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter. Regarding unemployment, Insee estimated that the jobless rate would be stable at 10 per cent in the second quarter, a slight decline of 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier.

The statistics agency’s forecast is a bit more optimistic than its last projections, counting on 10.1 per cent unemployment at the end of the year, but that is still near the historic peak of 10.4 per cent joblessness in 1997.