#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 18°C Tuesday 19 October 2021
Advertisement

Stuck in a rut: French economy records zero growth

France had been expected to grow its economy by 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2011, but couldn’t make it budge.

Christine Lagarde's last three months as French finance minister saw the domestic economy stagnate, with 0 per cent growth.
Christine Lagarde's last three months as French finance minister saw the domestic economy stagnate, with 0 per cent growth.
Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

FRANCE’S ECONOMIC ENGINE sputtered to a halt in the spring as French consumers slashed their spending and exports dried up.

The French economy posted zero growth in the second quarter, its national statistics agency said this morning. Government economists had forecast growth of around 0.2 percent in the period.

Growth in the first quarter was nearly 1 percent, but the a sudden reversal in consumer spending and stagnation by the country’s exporters has caused the economy – the Eurozone’s second biggest – to simply seize up.

This morning’s report follows two days of frantic efforts by French officials to soothe investors’ nerves, after suggestions that the country could be the next major economy to lose its coveted triple-A credit rating.

France’s new finance minister took to the airwaves again this morning in a bid to put a positive spin on the weak second-quarter numbers.

“It’s not a surprise that the second quarter is worse than the first, we anticipated this,” Francois Baroin said in an interview on French radio station RTL. He said the government is sticking with its deficit reduction targets despite the lower growth.

The French central bank said this week that the economy will likely grow only 0.2 percent in the third quarter. The bank’s monthly industrial survey showed corporate order books and factory utilisation rates falling for the second month in a row in July.

The former French finance minister Christine Lagarde left the role five days after the end of the second quarter, to take up her new role as the managing director of the IMF.

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (3)