France’s Q3 figures are in, and they are grim reading for policymakers in Paris, as they show a third quarter of almost no growth, 0.1%, which means France is flirting with recession.
On top of bad unemployment figures it means the government has some nasty numbers to grapple with in the new year. A stagnating economy means government forecasts for 0.8% growth in 2013, already aenemic, now look optimistic, and the budget is based on this figure. Miss the growth, and more cuts or tax rises will have to come.
Individual’s spending power dropped 0.2% in the third quarter too, so the prospects for a Christmas retail boost look bleak.