French economic fanfare belies challenges ahead | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


French economic fanfare belies challenges ahead

International investors are bullish, Wall Street bankers ecstatic, French business leaders full of confidence. And above all, Angela Merkel is happy.

Less than a year after he took office, President Emmanuel Macron has ample reason to boast about France’s economic rebound. As happened across the eurozone, French GDP growth was much stronger than expected last year — estimated at about 1.6 percent on an annual basis, a big jump from 2016’s 1.1 percent. And growth should be solid again in 2018.

Macron’s determination to reform is being taken seriously in France and even in Germany, which has long been skeptical of French presidents’ reformist proclamations. Later this year, however, long-standing economic fragilities could reveal some chinks in the president’s armor.

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