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IMF warns France over growth and spending

IMF warns France over growth and spending
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France has been told to ease off on the austerity next year.

The International Monetary Fund said if Paris does not do that it could choke off a tentative return to growth.

In its annual review of the eurozone’s second-largest economy, the IMF also said France needs to cut government spending more, but without raising taxes, which it said are already “among the highest by international standards”.

The IMF also called France to do more to rein in spending by local authorities and to carry out a deeper reform of social spending.

The Fund warned unemployment will keep rising, peaking at eleven point six percent of the workforce next year before slightly decreasing in 2015.

President Francois Hollande is banking on a turnaround in unemployment by year-end thanks to state-subsidised jobs, but the IMF is less optimistic.

The IMF experts maintained their forecast for a 0.2 percent contraction of output this year despite signs that France is gradually returning to growth in the second half.

They expect 0.8 percent growth for 2014.