EU slashes Eurozone growth forecast and sees France and Italy decline further

The European Union has lowered its euro area growth forecasts from -0.3 per cent to -0.4 per cent. The EU comission was reported as saying that fiscal consolidation is continuing, but at a reduced pace.

Revised estimates saw predicted French growth this year of 0.1 per cent reduced to -0.1 per cent. Predictions of Italian GDP growth fell to -1.3 per cent in 2013, with growth of 0.7 per cent in 2014. However Italian debt as a percentage of GDP is predicted to rise from 131.4 per cent of GDP this year to 132.2 per cent next year.