French Economy Falls Into Recession

The European Commission had warned France would be in recession this year

The French economy has entered recession after shrinking by 0.2% in the first quarter of the year.

France’s economy shrank by the same amount in the last quarter of 2012. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

France has record unemployment and low business and consumer confidence.

German growth figures have also been released, showing its economy, the strongest in the eurozone, grew by just 0.1% in the first quarter of the year.

That was well below the 0.3% growth expected in a poll of economists.

Preliminary figures from the Statistics Office also showed the German economy had shrunk by 1.4%, when compared with a year ago.

A statement said this was partly to do with severe winter weather: “The German economy is only slowly picking up steam. The extreme winter weather played a role in this weak growth.”

Earlier this month, the European Commission had warned that France would enter recession this year and said the eurozone’s economy would shrink by 0.4% this year.

The European Central Bank cut interest rates at its last meeting to a record low in an attempt to stimulate growth.