Destinations Magazine

Ça Va

By Stizzard
Ça va

FOR reasons either of irrepressible optimism or self-delusion, François Hollande regularly claims to spot economic improvements. Shortly after he was elected president, in 2012, he said that France’s unemployment would start to fall the following year. Alas, it kept rising. In his election manifesto, he forecast an imminent economic upturn. Instead France went through two more years of near-zero growth. So when Mr Hollande declared on television recently, “Ça va mieux!” (things are improving), he was widely ridiculed. “Are you joking?” asked his dumbfounded interviewer.

Yet there are signs that, this time, Mr Hollande may be right. The French economy, the second-biggest in the euro zone, grew faster than expected in the first quarter of 2016, at a quarterly rate of 0.5%. This puts growth on track to reach 1.5% this year, in line with the government’s forecast. The uptick was driven mostly by a rebound in consumer spending, the traditional motor of the French economy, along with low oil prices. But private-sector investment is beginning to recover, too. In the first quarter, investment in machinery, vehicles…

The Economist: Europe

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