France's economy is doing well. Macron is doomed

By Lionel Laurent

02 May 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The French economy is rebounding, yet many people in France remain highly pessimistic about the future. Bloomberg's Lionel Laurent argues that there are very real dangers to this “vibecession.”

France is a country that embraces intellectual opposites. It loves both Cartesian rationalism and homeopathic quackery, it hates wealth yet specializes in luxury, and its egalitarian republic often feels like a monarchy.

Now the French are appropriately plunged into a bout of paradoxical pessimism, bemoaning what's been called the worst political crisis since the Algerian War as social unrest festers, consumer confidence sinks and President Emmanuel Macron's approval ratings tumble to all-time lows after an unpopular increase to the retirement age to 64 from 62. Yet the hard data suggest things are ... actually quite good.

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