France follows IMF and slashes growth forecasts

France bows to reality on growth, deficit goals, but outlook still rosier than IMF's

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- The French government has lowered its growth projections and acknowledged that its won't deficit fall as quickly as promised.

In a report Wednesday, the government says growth will be just 0.1 percent this year and 1.2 percent next. Those are down from the previous projections of 0.8 percent and 2 percent.

Even after the downgrades, the forecasts are above those expected by others. On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund slashed its forecasts, predicting France will contract 0.1 percent this year and grow 0.9 percent next.

Since the government has said it won't cut any more spending, lower growth means higher deficits: As a result, it won't slash the deficit to 3 percent of annual gross domestic product until next year and won't balance the budget during President Francois Hollande's term.

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