Protests slow French economy
The anti-government protests convulsing France will slow growth to close to a standstill in the final quarter
This was said by the central bank, complicating President Emmanuel Macron’s task of finding concessions to placate the “yellow vest” movement.
The Bank of France on Monday forecast the euro zone’s number two economy would eke out growth of only 0.2 percent in the quarter from the previous three months, down from 0.4 percent in a previous estimate.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire declined to give an estimate for 2018 growth but forecast the nationwide tumult would trim 0.1 percent of a point off of national output. His deputy projected growth would round out “closer to 1.5 percent”.
The slow-down will be worrisome for Macron, who faces huge pressure on the streets to make further cuts to taxes and social security costs to bolster household spending power, while keeping France’s budget deficit below a European Union cap.
The slowdown is a “reality for our businessmen, entrepreneurs, it’s the reality for those whose shops were vandalized, looted, in the most violent way,” Le Maire told RTL. “And it’s a reality too for our foreign investors.”
Police used tear gas, water canon and horses to charge protesters hurling projectiles, torching cars and ransacking some shops, though they encountered less violence than the previous Saturday, when the capital encountered its worst violence since the 1968 student uprising.Published: by Radio NewsHub