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EU forecasts 2013 French slide into recession

AFP

The European Commission published its highly anticipated spring forecasts on Friday, predicting a French slide into recession this year, with its economy projected to shrink by 0.1 percent.

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France, Europe’s second largest economy, looks set to slide into recession this year with negative growth of 0.1 percent and unemployment expected to rise from 10.6 percent this year to 10.9 percent in 2014, the European Commission said in its highly anticipated spring forecasts, which were published on Friday.

The Commission also released a bleak picture of the country's public deficit, projecting an increase from 3.9 percent of GDP this year to 4.2 percent next year compared with government forecasts of 3.7 this year and 2.9 percent in 2014.

European Union Economic Affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said that France should be given an extra two years to meet the EU’s deficit target of three percent, saying that doing so would be a “reasonable” move.

The Commission’s report comes in contrast to its winter forecast, in which it projected that France’s economy would grow by 0.1 percent.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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