France accelerates reforms

The French government has accelerated its pace of reform since early 2014. Whether it will succeed or fail remains to be seen. Until then, further measures are needed – especially in the areas of labour market and financial policy – to get a grip on the continuing loss of export market shares, the high level of unemployment, and the difficult state of public finances.

Germany also benefits from an economically strong France. The French market has been the most important destination for German exports for 54 years. And trade volume is not the only impressive component; the composition of imports and exports is also hugely significant. France and Germany are heavily intertwined in numerous value chains, a fact that is most clearly revealed in the trade in intermediate products.