France’s economy did not grow in the first quarter of the year, raising concerns that the country could be headed towards a recession.
GDP was stagnant from January to March, the national statistics agency Insee said.
It also revised down growth in the fourth quarter of last year from 0.2% to 0.1%. Some analysts expect GDP to start contracting next quarter.
The news came on the same day that president-elect Francois Hollande takes office, vowing to restore France’s growth by investing in infrastructure and small businesses. But he has also promised to rein in the deficit – a task made harder by stagnating growth.
Mr Hollande built his programme around an expectation of 0.5% GDP growth for the year. That is in line with the EU’s forecast.