France's central bank is expecting the country to slip into recession during the third quarter.

The Banque de France said its preliminary figures show that GDP will be down 0.1% in the third quarter, which ends in September.

The bank had already predicted that gross domestic product would fall the same amount in the second quarter.

A recession is defined as two quarters of falling output in a row.

Many countries in Europe are already in recession in the wake of the continent's debt crisis.

The Banque de France numbers are estimates and the government will publish its own preliminary GDP figures for the second quarter next week.