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France abandons growth target after economy stagnates in 2nd quarter

PARIS - France's economy stagnated in the second quarter, leaving President Francois Hollande increasingly desperate to fulfil his two-year-old pledge to get the country growing again.

National statistics agench INSEE reported Thursday that the eurozone's second-largest economy posted zero growth for the second straight quarter.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin immediately acknowledged that the goverment's forecast of 1 per cent growth this year would now be impossible to reach. In an op-ed published on the website of French daily Le Monde, Sapin said: "This year GDP growth will be around 0.5 per cent, and nothing currently allows us to expect growth much above 1 per cent in 2015."

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