Investment strategy correspondent, London
Ingrid's Feed
Dec 18, 2014

Stars align to boost modest French recovery hopes

PARIS (Reuters) – The euro has fallen, oil prices have tumbled, and borrowing rates are at record lows: French President Francois Hollande has had much of his economic wishlist granted, and it may just help him kickstart a long-awaited recovery in 2015.

Granted, the short-term lethargy and structural problems in the euro zone’s second-largest economy mean that it will remain a major worry for others in the single currency bloc.

Dec 18, 2014

Analysis – Stars align to boost modest French recovery hopes

PARIS (Reuters) – The euro has fallen, oil prices have tumbled, and borrowing rates are at record lows: French President Francois Hollande has had much of his economic wishlist granted, and it may just help him kickstart a long-awaited recovery in 2015.

Granted, the short-term lethargy and structural problems in the euro zone’s second-largest economy mean that it will remain a major worry for others in the single currency bloc.

Dec 11, 2014

French core inflation turns negative, points to deflation risk

PARIS (Reuters) – French core inflation turned negative in November, with the first drop in the indicator since records started in 1990 pointing to a growing deflation risk in the euro zone’s second-largest economy.

The risk of deflation has become a major headache for France and for the euro zone as a whole, heightening expectations that the European Central Bank will soon take further steps to bolster the bloc’s flagging economy.

Dec 10, 2014

France bids to show reform drive with deregulation bill

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s government proposed a pro-growth reform bill on Wednesday that is crucial for avoiding EU sanctions but risks being watered down by left-wing lawmakers angry with President Francois Hollande’s deregulation drive.

The bill – which polls show the French themselves broadly support – aims to let shops open more often on Sundays and resolve disputes over firings more rapidly. It includes plans to deregulate the legal trade and cut red tape for construction.

Dec 10, 2014

French reform bill a major test for a weakened Hollande

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist government will propose on Wednesday a reform bill which is crucial for avoiding EU sanctions but risks being watered down by lawmakers angry with President Francois Hollande’s deregulation drive.

The bill aims to let shops open more often on Sundays and resolve disputes over firings more rapidly. It also includes plans to deregulate the legal trade and cut red tape for construction.

Dec 9, 2014

France seeks to keep EU ‘Robin Hood tax’ plan despite missed deadline

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France sought on Tuesday to keep alive a disputed financial transactions tax after 18 months of talks failed to produce a deal that would force banks blamed for causing the financial crisis to help pay for the clean-up.

Having missed a self-imposed year-end deadline to agree the broad outlines of the tax among the 11 euro zone countries that back the plan, France’s Michel Sapin told other finance ministers a deal was still possible early next year.

Dec 8, 2014

Euro ministers tell France, Italy to trim budgets more

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers told France and Italy on Monday to take quick steps to rein in their deficits in line with EU rules, threatening disciplinary action but also indicating some wiggle room might be given.

The ministers met to discuss draft 2015 budgets of euro zone countries, with Paris and Rome in focus because the drafts for both are at risk of breaking European Union rules. France is also facing criticism for badly missing its 2014 targets.

Dec 4, 2014

French jobless rate heads back to 2013 peak

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s unemployment rate jumped back in the third quarter to its 2013 peak, compounding the woes of the unpopular government struggling to pull the euro zone’s second-largest economy out of stagnation.

Socialist President Francois Hollande, whose popularity has been dragged down to record lows by unemployment and earlier rounds of tax increases, said he would not run for re-election in 2017 if he failed to cut the number of jobless by then.

Nov 30, 2014

QE or not QE? Spotlight on the ECB as inflation dips

PARIS (Reuters) – The ECB’s monthly rate meeting will focus minds this week on the debate over quantitative easing in the euro zone, as a series of data releases on both sides of the Atlantic sheds more light on European woes and U.S. strength.

Final purchasing manager indices for Europe and the United States, U.S. monthly jobs data and the European Central Bank’s updated forecasts will all provide clues to assessing the relative health of both regions.

Nov 27, 2014

French, German economists offer plan to counter EU ‘stagnation’

PARIS (Reuters) – Warning that Europe risks a “stagnation trap”, leading French and German economists proposed reforms and investments to revive growth in the euro zone’s two biggest economies, but Berlin swiftly dismissed a key proposal to boost its public investment.

Henrik Enderlein, of Germany’s Hertie School of Governance, and Jean Pisani-Ferry, head of the France Strategie government think-tank, offered an implicit trade-off between shaking up the rigid French labor market and regulated professions, and a public investment boost in creaking German infrastructure.