The unofficial theme of the 2012 awards season could have easily been “Vive la France,” with the French-helmed “The Artist” picking up dozens of awards going into Oscar night on Sunday. With 10 nominations, the film picked up five wins, including Best Picture.
But the motion picture phenomenon is not the only thing France is celebrating. After deficit woes and a slumping economy, the country is finally showing bright spots of optimism. Bloomberg News reported on Friday that French consumer confidence climbed for a second month in February after the economy unexpectedly expanded in the fourth quarter, adding to signs of recovery.
A measure of sentiment rose to 82 in February from 81 in January, national statistics office Insee said in Paris today. That matched economists’ expectations for a reading of 82, according to 15 different forecasts.
Although joblessness and potential budget cuts resulting from the approaching French presidential election could put a damper on consumer enthusiasm, this is the second consecutive improvement after a three year low.
France also ended 2011 strong with increased wine and champagne exports. According to the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters, French exports of wine and spirits hit a record €10 billion in 2011, a 10.5% annual increase. The federation said demand had been on the rise worldwide, particularly in Asia. Wine and spirits were the second-largest contributor to France’s trade balance, after the aerospace industry and ahead of the perfume and cosmetics sector.
It remains to be seen how long France’s glimmer of prosperity can last, especially when other countries in the European Union are experiencing far greater economic turmoil. With all of these positive developments in Europe, how are you keeping up? Try a free demo of PIERS’ various products designed to keep you informed with the most current data to help shape your business.