Investment strategy correspondent, London
Ingrid's Feed
Jul 12, 2013

Fitch cuts French credit rating on budget, economy woes

NEW YORK/PARIS (Reuters) – France lost the last of its major AAA ratings on Friday in a blow to President Francois Hollande as his government battles to rein in public finances and kickstart the stalled economy.

Fitch cut France’s credit rating by one notch to AA-plus, citing a deteriorating debt outlook and an uncertain economic environment as the euro zone crisis risked flaring up anew.

Jul 10, 2013

French industry output fuels recovery hopes

PARIS (Reuters) – French industrial output contracted less than expected in May after a jump in April, which the finance minister said was a further sign that the euro zone’s second largest economy may have exited from a mild recession.

Signs of weakness in the French economy have become a source of concern in Europe after the country entered a shallow recession in the first quarter, but data since then have pointed to an improvement.

Jul 9, 2013

France plans power price hike in boost for EDF

PARIS, July 9 (Reuters) – The French government is planning
the biggest increase in power prices in at least a decade to
cover rising costs at state-owned utility EDF.

The energy and environment ministry said on Tuesday it was
planning a 5 percent increase in state-controlled electricity
tariffs in August and 5 percent more in August next year.

Jul 7, 2013

Greece, foreign lenders close in on deal to unlock aid

July 7 (Reuters) – Greece is likely to reach a deal with
foreign lenders on its latest bailout review before a meeting of
euro zone finance ministers on Monday to decide on further aid,
EU and Greek officials said on Sunday.

Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European
Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund
“troika” for nearly a week to show it can deliver on its pledges
after failing to meet public sector reform targets.

Jul 7, 2013

ECB cannot solve euro zone crisis: Bundesbank chief

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) – The European Central Bank cannot solve the euro zone crisis, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann told economists on Sunday, pressing the bloc’s governments to get their economies in shape and tighten their fiscal rules.

Weidmann addressed an economists’ conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, only three days after the ECB broke with precedent by declaring that it intended to keep interest rates at record lows for an extended period and may yet cut further.

Jul 7, 2013

ECB cannot solve euro zone crisis, says Bundesbank chief

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 7 (Reuters) – The European
Central Bank cannot solve the euro zone crisis, Bundesbank chief
Jens Weidmann told economists on Sunday, pressing the bloc’s
governments to get their economies in shape and tighten their
fiscal rules.

Weidmann addressed an economists’ conference in
Aix-en-Provence, southern France, only three days after the ECB
broke with precedent by declaring that it intended to keep
interest rates at record lows for an extended period and may yet
cut further.

Jul 7, 2013

EU’s Rehn says close to deal on Greek aid

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) – International lenders are very close to wrapping up talks with Greece to unlock further aid though more efforts are required from Athens, the EU’s top economic official told Reuters a day before euro zone finance ministers meet to decide on the aid.

Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund since Monday to settle issues in its bailout performance review after failing to deliver on public sector reforms.

Jul 6, 2013

ECB says forward guidance is shift in communication, not policy

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 6 (Reuters) – The European
Central Bank’s decision to break with tradition by declaring it
would keep interest rates at record lows for an extended period
is in line with its mandate, senior policymakers said on
Saturday, playing down the degree of shift in policy.

The ECB on Thursday responded to turbulence caused by the
U.S. Federal Reserve’s planned withdrawal of monetary stimulus
by abandoning its own insistence that it never offers forward
guidance on policy.

Jun 27, 2013

French morale hits record low, state coffers to suffer

PARIS (Reuters) – French consumer confidence has hit an all-time low just as the state auditor warned that a likely economic contraction would knock the government off-course from this year’s deficit reduction target.

June consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since records began in 1972 and households are more pessimistic than ever about their future living standards, according to an index released on Thursday by national statistics institute INSEE.

Jun 27, 2013

French consumer morale hits record low

PARIS, June 27 (Reuters) – French consumer confidence has
hit an all-time low, the latest survey showed on Thursday, just
as the state auditor warned that a likely economic contraction
would knock the government off course on this year’s deficit
reduction target.

The June consumer confidence index fell to the lowest level
since records began in 1972 and households are more pessimistic
than ever about their future living standards, data from the
national INSEE statistics institute showed.