French Central Bank predicts zero economic growth in the country during the first six months of the year, reported BBC.
Official figures for gross domestic product (GDP) of the country during the first three months of the year will be published on May 15 – the day of the inauguration of the new French president Francois Hollande, who was elected after promising to support economic growth.
In the last quarter of 2011 the economy grew by 0.2%. In January, the French government lowered its forecast for growth in 2012 to 0.5% of the initially expected 1% growth.
Today, the National Statistical Institute in Paris published a worse than expected data on industrial production in March, which proved to have shrunk by 0.9%. The decline was partly attributed to the reduction of 14.2% electricity consumption after the record cold in February.
“We are expecting a very light contraction in the economy in the first quarter of the order of 0.1 to 0.2%,” said Helene Baudchon, economist at BNP Paribas.