Grim French growth outlook a new blow for Hollande -
Gloom over the French economy deepened on Friday with a grim forecast from the central bank, in a new blow to the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande. The bleak outlook for gross domestic product coincided with poor industrial production data, the latest in a string of indicators suggesting that France is a laggard in a generally weak eurozone recovery. In the last eight days, both Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls have sent strong signals of concern about the outlook. Economists have warned for months that France, struggling to apply deep reforms, looks increasingly like the weak link in the eurozone and could even slip back into recession, as Italy did unexpectedly this week.