Zero growth forecast for France

The Bank of France on Thursday forecast zero growth in the French economy for the second quarter of 2012 – the second quarter in a row of stagnation.

France’s gross domestic product should remain “stable” in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, which also saw zero growth, the central bank said in statement.

The French economy grew by only 1.7 percent last year and growth slowed to just 0.2 percent in the last quarter, mirroring stagnant output in the eurozone as a whole.

In January, the government was forced to halve its 2012 growth forecast from 1.0 to 0.5 percent, while the International Monetary Fund predicts a still more pessimistic 0.2 to 0.5 percent.

France’s moribund economy was a key factor in Socialist Francois Hollande’s win over outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy in Sunday’s French presidential election.

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