PARIS, November 4 (RIA Novosti) — France's economic growth is forecast to be weak in 2014-2015 and the budget deficit will stand at 4.7 percent of the GDP in 2016, the European Commission (EC) said in its fall economic forecast released Tuesday.
"France's economy stagnated during the first half of 2014, as investment fell, private consumption remained flat and exports grew weakly," the forecast said, adding that "under a no-policy-change assumption, the deficit in 2016 is set to hit 4.7 percent of GDP as discretionary measures for that year remain mostly unspecified."
The EC forecast has disclosed that France's deficit is to reach 4.4 percent of GDP in 2014, which will continue to rise up to 4.5 percent in 2015.
According to the EC forecast, France is the Eurozone's weakest economic performer. It also concluded that France's growth remained low in 2014 and 2015 "as a result of restrained domestic demand and a still subdued export performance".
However, the Commission underscored that the forecast did not account for the French government's additional package of spending cut measures comprising a package aimed at bridging the country's budget deficit to 3 percent of the GDP under EU budget rules.
"The additional package complementing the draft budget for 2015, announced late October, was also not included in the forecast due to a lack of details on the measures at the cut-off date."
However, according to the French government, Paris is likely to reach the required 3-percent deficit in 2017 following presidential and parliamentary elections in the country.
France, the Eurozone's second-biggest economy, has been undermined by worsening budget stagnation and increasing unemployment in recent years. According to an October survey by Opinion Way, nine out of 10 French people do not rate French president Francois Hollande's performance due to his failure to boost the country's economic growth and fulfill his electoral campaign promises.