France and the Netherlands moving in opposite directions

Today’s commentary
Europe’s recovery is still uneven. Recent data in France and the Netherlands show one nation with contracting GDP and the other with expanding GDP. When will the recovery begin in earnest?
Since it is Christmas Eve, I won’t go into a detailed answer to the question on Europe. I will keep this short. First, here are the data points.

This morning, both France and the Netherlands released third quarter growth estimates. According to Spanish website Expansión (link in Spanish). French GDP contracted 0.1% in the third quarter. This comes after a 0.4% decline in the second quarter. But the figures were terrible all around. Capital investment fell 0.4%. Exports fell 1.3%, following a 1.9% fall in the second quarter. While imports increased 0.9%, versus a 1.5% increase in...


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