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IMF downgrades French growth forecast, warns on budget deficit

PARIS--The International Monetary Fund on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for France this year and warned the country may miss its targets to cut its budget deficit.

The Washington-based body cut its gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection for France this year to 0.7 percent, down from the 1.0 percent it had forecast in April.

Unemployment in the eurozone's second-biggest economy is predicted to remain high until 2016, while stalling economic growth means France's public deficit will exceed EU targets to hit 4.0 percent this year.

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