Nearly half of French feel poor or on verge of poverty

France

Nearly one in two French people consider themselves poor or fear they soon will be, said a survey published ahead of a national poverty conference that comes amid a period of prolonged economic stagnation.

Eleven percent of respondents said they felt poor and 37 percent said they felt they were becoming poor, according to the poll by the CSA agency for business daily Les Echos, published yesterday.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they did not consider themselves poor or in danger of poverty, and one percent gave no response.

Salaried employees, manual labourers and independent workers felt the most exposed to poverty, while executives and professionals felt the least exposed.

The French economy, the eurozone's second biggest, has essentially marked time since the end of last year. It grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter of this year after a

0.1-percent contraction in the second.

The government has forecast growth of 0.8 percent for 2013, but the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has predicted an increase as low as 0.3 percent and the International Monetary Fund just 0.4 percent.

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