French ‘slightly more positive’ on the economy

French 'slightly more positive' on the economy
There was a slight increase in French optimism about the economy last month. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP
Despite continued record unemployment and stagnant growth, France's economic mood brightened somewhat in June, said a poll published on Thursday. However, 70 percent of the French still doubt the country's financial future.

A survey by BVA showed a "slight (but clear) increase in French morale," the pollsters noted in a statement.

71 percent of survey respondents were still negative about the future of the French economy, however, while one quarter said they saw now the light at the end of the tunnel.

"Certainly, pessimism is still in the majority," BVA deputy Gaël Sliman said in a statement. But he noted that the number of people in France who took an optimistic view of the future had increased in the past month. 

In May, 24 percent had been positive, meaning that the June result had gone up by a slight one percentage point, while the pessimistic slice of the population had declined by two percentage points from 73 to 71 percent. 

The poll revealed that many French were pleased with the prospect of income tax reductions and help for small- and medium-sized businesses – two measures believed to have the ability to spark job creation in France.

BVA noted that survey respondents who identified themselves as left-leaning were more positive to helping small businesses along.

Right-leaning respondents, for their part, took a rosier view on tax cuts, though both measures had solid support across the political spectrum. 

Despite the political tussles that lead to the government recently rejecting a call to introduce means-tested family benefits, 69 percent of survey respondents said they were favourable to such a move. 

The French were more divided about whether or not Socialist President Francois Hollande had developed a more business-friendly stance in recent months. 

Thrity-one percent of respondents said Hollande's attitude to the business sector was now better, while 17 percent thought the opposite. 

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