Leigh's Feed
Apr 15, 2014

France denies wavering on deficit commitments

PARIS (Reuters) – French officials said on Tuesday they had never wavered on EU-imposed budget targets, rejecting media reports they had tried earlier this month to lay the ground for renegotiation but had been slapped down by Brussels.

Conservative newspaper Le Figaro reported on Tuesday that the Socialist government had no choice but to retreat from plans to renegotiate how fast it should cut its budget deficit after Brussels ruled out giving additional time.

Apr 13, 2014

Chinese GDP data to offer ‘hard landing’ clues

PARIS (Reuters) – Chinese economic growth data this week will offer the clearest indication yet of whether the world’s second-largest economy will dodge a “hard landing”.

A weak Chinese gross domestic product growth reading may impact emerging markets which are just beginning to get over concerns about the United States winding down its exceptional monetary policy stimulus of recent years.

Apr 11, 2014

Analysis – Cheap funding costs a boon for French firms

PARIS (Reuters) – As economic prospects in western Europe improve, French companies whose shares are still reeling from the euro zone debt crisis are enjoying rock-bottom financing costs, a boost to their bottom lines that has yet to be fully reflected in their stock prices.

The flood of cheap money on offer to French firms will also likely be a trigger for a boom in corporate activity, from takeovers to capital spending and share buybacks, as the country’s economic rebound gains pace, analysts said.

Apr 11, 2014

Cheap funding costs a boon for French firms

PARIS (Reuters) – As economic prospects in western Europe improve, French companies whose shares are still reeling from the euro zone debt crisis are enjoying rock-bottom financing costs, a boost to their bottom lines that has yet to be fully reflected in their stock prices.

The flood of cheap money on offer to French firms will also likely be a trigger for a boom in corporate activity, from takeovers to capital spending and share buybacks, as the country’s economic rebound gains pace, analysts said.

Apr 9, 2014

France’s odd couple push Europe to re-think growth

PARIS (Reuters) – One is a balding, bespectacled safe-pair-of-hands known for his negotiating skills; the other a firebrand orator of the French left who made his name riling big business, Brussels and Berlin.

Step forward Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, the odd couple now running the euro zone’s second largest economy since last week’s reshuffle. Their first joint task will be to explain why France again risks breaking promises to Europe to get its public finances in shape.

Apr 8, 2014

France’s Valls sets out tax and spend shake-up

PARIS (Reuters) – New Prime Minister Manuel Valls unveiled a broad package of tax and public spending cuts on Tuesday, vowing to bring France’s public deficit down while fuelling growth and resisting outright austerity.

In a keynote policy speech to parliament after being chosen last week by President Francois Hollande, Valls said an over-strong euro was damaging economic recovery. He served notice that France wanted to launch a debate on the monetary policy of the independent European Central Bank, which he described as “less expansionist” than that of its international peers.

Apr 8, 2014

Valls seeks reform boost with French confidence vote

PARIS (Reuters) – New Prime Minister Manuel Valls will test France’s political commitment to reform on Tuesday in a confidence vote that should allow the Socialist government to press ahead with a drive for greater competitiveness.

Hours ahead of the vote, Valls unveiled plans for new budget savings on top of belt-tightening already in the works, but his Socialists said they understood his aim was simply to channel the extra cash into tax breaks for low-income households.

Apr 3, 2014

New French government to seek more leeway on deficit deadlines

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s reshuffled government lost no time on Thursday in indicating that it will seek to renegotiate its deficit-reduction deadline with the European Commission, setting it on a collision course with its EU partners.

New Finance Minister Michel Sapin hinted that Paris hoped to secure greater understanding in Brussels for its efforts to win a further delay in its budget target by parachuting his predecessor, Pierre Moscovici, into a key EU economic post.

Apr 3, 2014

New French government seeks leeway on deficit deadlines

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s reshuffled government lost no time on Thursday in announcing it would seek to renegotiate its budget deficit reduction deadline with the European Commission, setting it on a collision course with EU partners.

New Finance Minister Michel Sapin hinted that Paris hoped to secure more understanding in Brussels for its efforts to win a further delay in its budget target by parachuting his predecessor, Pierre Moscovici, into a key EU economic post.

Mar 31, 2014

France’s public deficit tops government target in 2013

PARIS (Reuters) – France cut its public sector deficit less quickly than planned last year, missing the government’s target and presenting a new setback for President Francois Hollande.

Figures on Monday also showed that the euro-zone’s second-biggest economy grew in the last quarter of 2013 largely because consumers pinched by rising taxes tapped their savings to finance spending.