France confirms negative economic growth in third quarter

Paris, Dec 25: The French national statistics bureau Insee confirmed a negative performance of Europe’s main powerhouse during the third quarter of the year on weak exports and poor investment.

For the July-September period, France’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.1 percent, compared to a 0.6 percent growth for the previous quarter, Xinhua cited from agency reports released Tuesday.

Investment in the eurozone’s second largest economy declined by 0.4 percent with cash of non-financial firms down by 2.1 percent for the third quarter.

French exports fell by 1.3 percent after having expanded 1.9 percent in the second quarter while imports grew by 0.9 percent, contributing to a negative trade balance.

The growth of households’ expenditure slowed by 0.3 percentage points to stand at 0.1 percent in the third quarter, the report added.

Insee lowered the 2013 full-year growth forecast of the French economy to 0.1 percent from a previous estimation of 0.2 percent, adding more pressure on the government to recover with rampant unemployment exceeding 10 percent.