Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

The fight for transparency: Democracy put to the test

Read more

ENCORE!

Choreographer Akram Khan: 'The body speaks the truth'

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Admiring the gardens of tomorrow in France's Loire valley

Read more

FASHION

French fashion legend Pierre Cardin celebrates 70 years of design

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is Boris Johnson Britain's most undiplomatic chief diplomat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Paris pollution: 'Tomorrow we stop breathing'

Read more

Business France

After narrowly avoiding it, France enters recession

Latest update : 2009-02-09

The French Central Bank has forecast a shrinkage of 0.6 percent of the national GDP for the first quarter of 2009 - a second consecutive quarter of contraction for the economy - meaning the country is officially entering a recession period.

AFP - The French economy is set to shrink by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, the Bank of France forecast on Monday, signalling a formal recession.
 

If the economy does contract as the central bank expects, after widely expected shrinkage in the fourth quarter, the economy will have shown two quarters running of negative growth which marks recession.

 

The economy contracted in the second quarter of last year but achieved growth of 0.1 percent in the third quarter, thereby narrowly averting recession.
 

But economists, including government economists, expect data for the fourth quarter to show a clear contraction.

 

The official statistics institute INSEE is to publish on Friday its first data for growth in the whole of 2008.
 

Most economists, and the government, expect that the figure for gross domestic product in the fourth quarter will be very weak, showing a contraction of about 1.0 percent.

 

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said last week that conditions in the fourth quarter were the worst "ever seen", referring to a "collapse of industrial production, particularly in November and December."
 

Forecasts so far put growth for the whole of 2008 at 0.7-0.8 percent.

 

Lagarde said that the government was waiting for publication of these results to revise its forecasts for growth in 2009, which stand so far at 0.2-0.5 percent.

 

The minister has also acknowledged that she would be "very surprised" if the French economy grew in 2009, thereby implying that she would be surprised if it were not in recession.
 

"All of the countries in the eurozone are at about minus 2.0 (percent for forecast growth), and the European Commission gives us minus 1.8 percent, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) minus 1.9 percent, so no-one should have any illusions," she said.

 

"We have to be realistic and watch the figures."

 

The bank also published its index for business sentiment in industry which stood at 70 in January from 67 in December, showing a slight rise in activity.

Date created : 2009-02-09

COMMENT(S)