France's Central Bank said on Friday that the economy here would likely expand by only 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, following on growth of 0.2 percent in the third quarter.
In its regular month report, the Central Bank's predictions are almost in line with the National Statistics Institute (INSEE) which is predicting almost zero or 0.1 percent growth in the current quarter.
The bank report is further bad news for the government and for President Francois Hollande who spent two hours on national television Thursday night, trying to convince people that he was working hard to make changes that would be felt soon, at least before the next presidential election in 2017.
French people have been slammed with austerity measures, lower assistance programs and subsidies and higher direct and indirect taxes since Hollande, a Socialist, came to power in May 2012.
At the same time, unemployment has risen consistently under Hollande's presidency and now stands at above 10.2 percent, with about 3.4 million officially out of work. The unofficial number of jobless is closer to 5.0 million, according to economists and social workers.
Hollande announced only minimal measures Thursday night to help older unemployed but basically told the nation that it would have to continue belt-tightening for France to recover.