PARIS : The need to accelerate growth has long been visible in almost every corner of the French economy, from dreary unemployment offices packed with job seekers to businesses whose financially stretched customers struggle to make do.
President Emmanuel Macron came into office pledging to change all that by improving the country’s long-term prospects. But his halting response to a month of violent demonstrations by the so-called Yellow Vest movement over social inequality has clouded his efforts for a revival.
Four weekends of mass protests in Paris and in towns and villages across France have hampered economic activity while hurting the country’s image with investors, the government said Monday.
The same day, the country’s central bank trimmed its growth forecast for the fourth quarter to 0.2 percent from 0.4 percent, well off the sluggish pace expected for the year. Businesses have sustained more than 10 billion euros, about $11.4 billion, in damage and lost sales, a figure that will probably grow.