That France with its double-digit unemployment fiasco is losing its grip was hammered home by the Purchasing Managers Index. After three months of false-hope upticks, it crashed to a low not seen since March 2009, the trough of the financial crisis!
Business activity has been skidding for 18 months, and new orders, a precursor for future activity, for 19 months. The French private sector is in a heap of trouble [Draconian Cash Controls Are Coming To France].
On the other side of the Rhine, Germany is still bathing in optimism—though its economic output dropped 0.6% in the fourth quarter (henceforth called the awful GDP surprise), on par with the struggling Eurozone, which has now spent five quarters in the red