As I recently highlighted
, Portugal has for a long time had the weakest growth in Europe. Now it has lost that anything
but honorable title. Year over year growth in Portugal rose from 1.7% to 2.1% in the first quarter, while France's growth fell from 2.2% to 2.0%. The third infamous laggard, Italy, saw its growth fall from 2.8% to 2.3%, but that is still higher than in France. Given France's more favorable demographics, this is extraordinarily bad for it to be weakest in the EU. Hopefully, Sarkozy will lead France away from the statist policies that have mired its economy and turn around its economy like Germany did
, but that is far from certain.
See also Alvaro Vargas Losas interesting analysis
of French economic problems.