An employee with a French flag at the Paris Drapeaux factory in Gentilly
Paris - AFP
The French economy is forecast to grow at a slower pace in the fourth quarter due mainly to the impact of the deadly Paris attacks last month, the Insee statistics office said Thursday.
Insee revised lower its estimate of economic expansion in the October-through-December period to 0.2 percent, down from the previous forecast of 0.4 percent, following the series of attacks by jihadists that left 130 people dead.
It added that the revision for the last quarter of 2015 would not change its growth forecast for the entire year, which remains at 1.1 percent, the same as the government's minimum estimate.
Looking ahead to next year, it forecast 0.4 percent growth in both the first and second quarters of 2016.
The national statistics agency also predicted that France's stubbornly high unemployment rate will begin to come down slightly by mid-2016. It sees a drop of 0.2 point in that period to a jobless rate of 10 percent.
Joblessness is a key issue for the Socialist government as President Francois Hollande has vowed not to seek re-election in 2017 if there is no significant decline in unemployment.