Investment strategy correspondent, London
Ingrid's Feed
Apr 25, 2013

French jobless claims hit all-time high in March

PARIS (Reuters) – More people were out of job in France in March than at any other time in the past, data on Thursday showed, a bleak record that cast new doubt on government promises to reverse the unemployment trend by year-end.

The new 3.225 million record, an 11.5 percent annual increase, is a symbolic blow to Socialist President Francois Hollande, whose approval ratings have sunk to the lowest of any modern French leader in recent months as jobless claims soared.

Apr 17, 2013

France plans spending cuts as fiscal targets slip

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government said on Wednesday it would have a higher-than-planned public debt and deficit throughout its mandate but hoped to appease EU partners with spending cuts that will bring the underlying budget to surplus in 2016.

Paris is battling to persuade the European Commission and euro zone leaders to grant it more time to knock its finances into shape after it conceded earlier this year it would break a pledge to cut its deficit to 3 percent of output in 2013.

Apr 17, 2013

France eyes bigger-than-planned 2017 headline budget deficit

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – The French government
acknowledged on Wednesday it would have a higher headline public
deficit than planned by the end of its mandate in 2017, but said
the underlying budget would be in surplus one year before that.

Paris is battling to persuade the European Commission and EU
partners to grant it more time to knock its finances into shape
after it conceded earlier this year it would break a promise to
bring its deficit down to 3 percent of output in 2013.

Apr 16, 2013

France warned on growth goals, fiscal targets in doubt

PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) – France’s economy could shrink
this year and miss future government forecasts, the country’s
budget watchdog and the IMF warned on Tuesday, casting doubt on
Paris’s pledge to cut its deficit below 3 percent of output.

France will unveil a revised multi-annual budget plan on
Wednesday to try to meet the 3 percent EU deficit ceiling in
2014. It acknowledged earlier this year that it will miss the
target this year because growth has stalled.

Apr 15, 2013

Analysis: French bonds find precarious “sweet spot”

PARIS (Reuters) – France is borrowing at its cheapest rates ever, but to keep costs so low it must satisfy the European Union and investors that structural reforms are on track and hope the euro zone crisis can be held under control.

A euro zone country missing its fiscal targets, on the brink of recession, with an unpopular president and a population notorious for its resistance to reform, might seem the perfect combination to scare away investors.

Apr 15, 2013

French bonds find precarious “sweet spot”

PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) – France is borrowing at its
cheapest rates ever, but to keep costs so low it must satisfy
the European Union and investors that structural reforms are on
track and hope the euro zone crisis can be held under control.

A euro zone country missing its fiscal targets, on the brink
of recession, with an unpopular president and a population
notorious for its resistance to reform, might seem the perfect
combination to scare away investors.

Apr 15, 2013

French 2014 budget to raise tax take, trim spending

PARIS (Reuters) – French taxpayers face a heftier tax bill next year, the country’s finance minister said on Monday, even though the focus of fiscal tightening is set to shift from raising extra revenue to trimming spending.

The additional tax burden of about 6 billion euros will show up in a revised multi-year budget plan the government will unveil on Wednesday, key to its efforts to win a one-year reprieve from its euro zone partners on its deficit target.

Apr 11, 2013

Ireland may go it alone without precautionary funds: EU source

PARIS (Reuters) – Ireland may go it alone when it comes off emergency aid later this year and not sign up to a precautionary credit line that would smooth its bailout exit but bring political difficulties, a euro zone source said on Thursday.

Rescued by Europe and the IMF in late 2010, Ireland has consistently hit the targets set under its bailout and closed in on weaning itself off emergency assistance last month by raising 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in a landmark 10-year bond sale.

Apr 10, 2013

France’s Hollande pledges more transparency for banks, politicians

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) – French banks must give more
details on their operations in tax havens, while ministers will
disclose personal assets from next Monday, President Francois
Hollande said in a drive to restore public trust after a tax
fraud scandal.

Seeking to show he is improving transparency after his
budget minister quit over a secret Swiss bank account, Hollande
pledged to step up the fight against tax havens. He also
appointed a specialised financial prosecution office.

Mar 29, 2013

French economy dogged by weak spending, fiscal strain

PARIS, March 29 (Reuters) – Bleak French consumer spending
and budget deficit data on Friday highlighted the Sisyphean task
facing the government, which insists it can meet its pledges to
revive growth and the public finances.

President Francois Hollande sought to reassure the public in
a TV interview on Thursday that he has the tools to restore
France to growth, promising measures to boost consumer spending,
which accounts for more than half of the economy.