Hollande Says 2013 to Be Very Difficult Economic Year for France

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- French President Francois Hollande said 2013 will be very tough for Europe’s second-largest economy, with gross domestic product barely growing in the first half.

Speaking on Europe 1 radio today, Hollande said unemployment, which is already at a 14-year high, will rise until the end of next year. He reiterated his budget-deficit target of 3 percent of GDP for 2013.

France’s economy will begin a “slight” recovery of 0.1 percent in the first half after shrinking in the final quarter of 2012, national statistics office Insee predicted.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net