French candidates can agree that economy is running behind

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 20, 2017 9:11 AM

By Jeremy Gaunt

LONDON (Reuters) - When France's presidential candidates get together for a formal debate later on Monday, they will at least have one thing to agree on -- the country's economy is lagging others that have already had recent votes.

As the following graphic -- -- shows, French unemployment, still over 10 percent, is far higher than in the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

France also lags well behind in economic growth. Taking the beginning of 2007 as a base, its economy has expanded only 6.3 percent in 10 years. By contrast, the Netherlands has grown more than 7.5 percent, Britain more than 11 percent and the United States over 14 percent.

Whether this helps National Front leader Marine Le Pen attract angry voters, or whether they prefer the reforms offered by conservative Francois Fillon or centrist Emmanuel Macron remains to be seen.

Donald Trump's election as U.S. president and Britain's vote to leave the European Union were both supposed to be influenced by voters who felt left out of the economic recovery.

By comparison, France hasn't had one.

(Editing by Catherine Evans)