For the second quarter in a row, France's gross domestic product expanded only 0.2 percent, crashing down from the 0.7 percent rate averaged in 2017, while consumer spending, the country's main growth engine, is faltering, having contracted in the second quarter for the first time in almost two years.
A survey of the confidence of businesses in France across the industrial, services, construction, retail and wholesale sectors reached its highest level since 2008 according to figures released Thursday by the country's national staistics office INSEE, which also predicted Gross Domestic Product would grow by 1.8% this year after recording expansion of around 1% over the previous three years.
With elections afoot in both their countries, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May each claim to lead the world's fifth-largest economic power, and the plain facts demonstrate that the two economies have very similar performance in a number of areas.
Just hours after naming the conservative Edouard Philippe as his prime minister on Monday, France’s new president Emmanuel Macron flew off to pay a visit to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She, like European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, has hailed the election of pro-EU Macron, and notably his announced structural reforms of France’s economy, which are at the heart of his political programme. Macron considers they represent a panacea for the ills in French society, but are they really appropriate to the country’s economic situation? Romaric Godin weighs up the widely different views on the mantra that there is no alternative to “structural reforms”.
The 0.5% growth in first quarter is good news for embattled president François Hollande as he tries to convince public the situation is improving.
The Eurozone’s second-largest economy grew by 1.1 per cent last year compared with 0.2 per cent growth in 2014, figures show.
Emmanuel Macron said he did not believe 'for a second' China's claim that its economy grew by as much as 6.9 percent in 2015.
The French president said tax cuts 'will depend on the growth rate' France achieves in 2016, while pledging growth 'will be stronger' next year.
Manuel Valls announced easing of rules limiting roll-on temporary contracts, severance pay limit of six months, and tax breaks for those who hire.
French economic growth in first quarter was an unforecast 0.6%, the highest in eurozone, while German growth fell and Greek economy shrank.
Two forecasts suggest that despite some economic progress both French consumers and businesses will 'wait and see' before spending or investing.
The French national statistics office INSEE foresees domestic product growth rise in early 2015, helped by oil price tumble and weak euro.
The influential Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques (OFCE), known as the French Economic Observatory in English, has just published a powerful critique of French government economic policy. In cautious but bleak language it charts how austerity is sapping France's economy while pointing out that the government's massive hand-outs to companies will contribute only a meagre stimulus to growth. Its grim conclusions match those of other economists, but this study differs by also showing how austerity choked off a recovery back in 2010 that could have delivered nearly 2.4% growth instead of the anaemic, near-zero growth since. It is, argues Mediapart's Laurent Mauduit, a damning indictment of President François Hollande's economic strategy.
Finance minister says economy will grow by just 0.4% in 2014 compared with recent 0.5% forecast and public deficit will be 4.4% not 3.8%.