The Bank of France announced Thursday it has revised downwards its growth forcasts for 2018 and 2019 to 1.5%, instead of a previous prediction of 1.6%, but did not include 10 billion euros in tax cuts brought forward to next year and extra spending announced this week by President Emmanuel Macron in a major concession to protestors demanding higher living standards for low- and middle-income earners.
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”.