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Why are the French feeling more optimistic than they have in a decade?

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Why are the French feeling more optimistic than they have in a decade?
Photo: AFP
09:40 CEST+02:00
The French are feeling more optimistic than they have since 2007 and there are two main reasons.
It's official, the French are feeling more positive than they have done in years. Ten years to be exact, according to national statistics office INSEE.
 
Using two main categories to calculate people's morale - the situation of individual households and people's perception of the country's economic situation in general - the organisation came to the conclusion that confidence levels among French consumers in June 2017 are at a 10-year-high. 
 
Essentially they are less worried about being out of work and more positive about the overall economic outlook for the country.
 
The French are more confident about the economic situation and the future quality of life in the country and it might have something to do with the election of new French president Emmanuel Macron - although INSEE note that spikes in confidence are common after elections. 
 
In fact, the peak of optimism seen among the French immediately after the elections has stuck, perhaps in part out of relief that the far right Marine Le Pen was not elected president.
 
Consumer confidence has gone up by five points since May, reaching a total of 108 points - a level that hasn't been seen since August 2007 as the French presidency changed hands from Jacques Chirac to Nicholas Sarkozy. 
 
Unsurprisingly, one of the most important factors is perceptions of the stability of the economy - essentially people are worrying less about being made unemployed, the figures from INSEE show. 
 
That's perhaps a little ironic given that the latest figures showed that unemployment actually went up in Macron's first month as president, although obviously it would be unfair to pin this rise on the new president.
 
This fear of unemployment among the French has decreased for the third consecutive month to the lowest level since the beginning of 2008 when the financial crisis began. 
 
As a result, people are feeling a lot more positive about the quality of life they can expect in the future, leading them to make big purchases like cars and big household electrical purchases. 
 
Emmanuel Macron swept a runoff election in May to become France's youngest president at the age of 39, leading a new centrist political party that aims to overcome the left-right political divide seen as having hobbled the country's efforts to reform and modernise.
 
Macron has set his sights on reducing unemployment to 7 percent from the current level of around 10 percent.
 
 
After his election in May an INSEE survey also revealed how confidence had shot up among business leaders.
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