France: 2012 growth estimate may be too high

AP News
Posted: Oct 18, 2011 7:22 AM
France: 2012 growth estimate may be too high

France's finance minister says 2012 growth may be lower than estimated but the government isn't changing the draft budget because of the global uncertainty caused by the European debt crisis.

Finance Minister Francois Baroin warned on France-2 television Tuesday of a "risk of global slowdown. It is very vast, it could be severe."

Baroin said the growth estimate of 1.5 percent for next year was "probably too high." The 2012 budget is being debated in parliament Tuesday.

Baroin said the government would do everything to avoid a recession and a downgrade of its coveted triple A rating.

On Monday, ratings agency Moody's said it will be studying France's rating over the next three months amid concerns about French banks and the cost of bailing out other eurozone nations.