Let's Talk About How Ugly France Is

The French economy continues to be the world’s dog.

The latest Flash PMI reading from Markit shows the economy sharply contracting, with weakness in both the manufacturing and service sectors.

Here’s the basic gist. Read it and weep:

June’s flash PMI data painted another picture of subdued economic performance in France, with output down for a second successive month, orders falling slightly and the sharpest cut in staffing levels for four months. After accounting for seasonal factors, the Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, based on around 85% of normal monthly survey replies, posted a reading of 48.0 in June. That was down from May’s 49.3 and a four-month low. The decline in output was broad-based, with both manufacturers and service providers registering reductions since May. Goods-producers saw output decline to the sharpest degree in half-a-year; services companies the greatest in four months.

Here’s the chart showing the Flash PMI reading against GDP.

France has consistently underperformed its fellow “Core” European country Germany throughout the post-crisis period. During the Eurozone crisis, France was always a marginal case, straddling the line between strong core Europe and the PIIGS.

Now at least the peripheral countries are rebounding, and yet there’s France, dragging the entire continent down again.

What a mess.

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