French PM says Q3 growth pause will hit jobs

Paris, Nov 27 | Updated: Nov 28 2006, 05:30am hrs
The pause in growth in the third quarter will likely affect French job figures, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said in a speech on Monday. We must confront a pause in growth in the third quarter which will no doubt affect the employment figures, Villepin told a group of 200 business leaders meeting in Paris.

Growth in the euro zones second largest economy stalled in the third quarter after surging 1.2% in the second quarter, though the government says it expects growth of 0.6-0.8% in the last three months of the year.

France officially releases its October unemployment figures on Thursday. Unemployment has fallen steadily in France over the past year to stand at 8.8 percent in September as Villepins government made jobs its top priority. Official data earlier this month showed French non-farm payrolls grew at their slowest pace in a year, rising 0.1 percent in the third quarter.