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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La croissance vire au rouge

by Clotilde Mathieu

Economic Growth Nose-Dives

Translated Monday 25 November 2013, by Gene Zbikowski

GDP fell by 0.1% in the third quarter and 17,000 jobs were destroyed, according to the French statistical bureau (INSEE).

It took no more than one quarter for economic growth to go negative again. In the third quarter, GDP fell by 0.1% according to the calculations of the French statistical bureau (INSEE), as against a 0.5% increase in the second quarter.

The bouncing-back of the economy in the second quarter, which came as such a surprise, has collapsed like a soufflé. Consumption remains totally lethargic, growing by only 0.2% in the third quarter. Investment, whether on the part of households or companies, dropped for the seventh straight month, by 0.6%. Even investment outside the banking sector, which in the second quarter had ended five negative quarters, fell again, dropping by 0.6%.

French products are no longer attractive abroad. Exports fell by 1.5%. In France, 17,000 jobs were shed in the third semester. Year on year, 107,000 jobs have been lost, particularly in industry and the building trades.

The Minister for the Economy immediately reacted in order to dampen the impact of these figures: “This isn’t a recession; this is not an indicator of decline.” He spoke of a simple “hiccup” in “an agitated year.”

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