Europe's economic challenges, by the way, influenced my call for a brief, "mild" recession here in the U.S. beginning in Q1 of next year.
- Public spending is 57% of the nation's output.
- Debt-to-GDP is 90%.
- No new company has entered the CAC-40 stock market index since 1987.
- Nobody gets fired. Unions protest over any reforms.
- France still has a high standard of living, and has some of the best companies in the world, but growth has stalled.
- Unemployment is 10%. Youth unemployment much higher.
- France can still borrow cheaply, but it's also resting on past laurels (it's still a gigantic tourist destination).
- New President Francois Hollande is ostensibly powerful, but his approval rating has plunged.
- He refuses to really acknowledge France's economic challenges.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
French Economy: Ticking Time Bomb
Some French political elite have their baguettes in a bunch over the recent Economist story characterizing their country's economy as a "ticking time bomb". The French think very highly of themselves and their country, but it is true that the land of Marianne is facing a number of serious economic challenges. The Economist names quite a few (h/t JW):