France officially falls into recession

Oct. 3, 2008 at 11:59 AM

PARIS, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- French officials said Friday the country's economy had posted consecutive quarters of contraction, putting the French economy into a technical recession.

The National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies said the French economy contracted 0.3 percent in the second quarter and would shrink by 0.1 percent in both the third and fourth quarters of the year, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The French Finance Ministry confirmed the news. "Finance Minister Christine Lagarde now regards the risk of negative growth in autumn for the second quarter in a row as real."

A recession is defined as at least two consecutive quarters of contraction.

"This means the decisions, especially tax choices, made by (French President) Nicolas Sarkozy on the day after the presidential election have been revealed as inappropriate, ineffective and unfair and have amplified the shock of the global situation," Francois Hollande, leader of the opposition Socialist Party, said.

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