France to lower growth forecast

France will lower its economic growth forecasts for this year as part of a revised budget the government will present later this week to meet its public deficit targets, finance minister Pierre Moscovici said yesterday. The country's national audit office is expected to reveal a shortfall of about €8bn (£6.5bn) today when it publishes the results of an official review of public finances that new President Francois Hollande ordered, the Journal du Dimanche (JDD) newspaper earlier said.

In an interview with Le Figaro newspaper, Moscovici said the government would reduce its 2012 growth forecast to at least 0.4 per cent from 0.7 per cent when its revised budget is presented to the cabinet on Wednesday.