France's economy was stagnant in the second quarter, the government said today.

The figuers come amid worries that Europe's number two economy is hovering on the edge of a new recession.

The preliminary estimates released today by the state statistics agency Insee mark the third quarter without growth in a row.

The figures were in line with Insee's earlier forecast for no growth in domestic product for the quarter.

But they were better than estimates by France's central bank, which had forecast a 0.1% contraction in the second quarter and a continued drop in the third quarter.

The number of jobs in France and consumer spending both shrank in the second quarter, Insee said. Imports grew more than exports, exacerbating concerns about France's growing trade deficit.

While the lack of economic contraction is a relief for France's government, the lack of growth is a challenge for French President Francois Hollande, marking his first 100 days in office today.

The Socialist government is focusing on raising taxes on the rich and big business to try to cut the deficit, but some economists and business owners warn this will stifle growth when the country needs it badly.