France will barely grow in 2013, minister warns

French finance minister fears growth will be 0.1 percent in 2013 despite year-end pick up

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- France's finance minister is warning that the country will barely grow this year.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told an economic conference on Thursday that growth in Europe's second-largest economy likely won't be above 0.1 percent this year.

That's in line with the European Commission's forecast but well below the government's original estimate of 0.8 percent.

Moscovici said the government would "fight" for stronger growth, which should emerge by the end of the year, and that next year should be "significantly positive." The commission has forecast 1.2 percent growth for France in 2014.

Moscovici reiterated that the government would not make further spending cuts to meet its target of getting its deficit down to 3 percent of France's annual gross domestic product because that would weigh on growth.

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