France’s economy is likely to slip into recession in the third quarter, the Bank of France said on Wednesday, forecasting a contraction of 0.1 percent for the second quarter running which adds to signs Europe’s economic prospects are still worsening.
The estimate, which followed the Bank’s forecast last month for a similar contraction in the second quarter, suggests France’s 2 trillion euro economy may struggle to meet the government’s forecast for 0.3 percent growth this year.
Struggling with a debt crisis and resulting budget austerity which has devastated its southern half, Europe also faces signs of stagnation and outright recession in its biggest economies.
Britain’s central bank is expected to all but back off a prediction of growth for this year in a report later on Wednesday, while the latest batch of data from Germany shows both imports and exports falling.
Figures on Wednesday also showed France’s trade gap widened to 5.99 billion euros in June, defying analysts’ expectations for an improvement as exports of cars and transport materials slumped.