UPDATE 1-Fitch cuts French credit rating on budget, economy woes
NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) - Fitch on Friday cut France's credit rating to AA-plus on an uncertain economic outlook amid the ongoing euro zone crisis and the need for structural reform, costing the monetary union's number two economy its last major triple-A rating.
The outlook is stable.
In explaining the cut, the rating agency cited a slew of causes for concern: weaker economic output, a jump in the unemployment rate, budget deficits and subdued external demand, among others.
Risks to fiscal projections "lie mainly to the downside," the rating agency said in a statement.
Standard & Poor's rates the country AA-plus with a negative outlook. Moody's rates the country Aa1 with a negative outlook.
The euro zone's three and a half year sovereign debt crisis has strained the monetary union, with even major economies such as France and Germany feeling the pain.
French gross domestic product, flat in 2012, is expected to drop 0.3 percent in 2013 before expanding 0.6 percent in 2014, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll this week.