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EU Sees France Barely Growing as Exporters Lose to Rivals

The European Commission predicted the French economy will barely expand next year as exporters continue to lose ground to competitors in other countries.

Gross domestic product will rise 0.4 percent in 2013, half the pace expected by President Francois Hollande’s government, the Brussels-based commission said in a twice-yearly report on the European Union’s 27-national economies.

“The persistent deterioration in external competitiveness observed over the past 10 years is not likely to be reversed in the medium term,” the report said. “French companies are set to continue to lose export market share.”

The commission expects unemployment to climb to 10.7 percent in 2013 and stabilize at that level in 2014. France’s budget deficit will be about 3.5 percent of GDP next year, compared with the government’s target of 3 percent, the commission predicted.

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