Amidst the current financial turmoil, there is one major economy that seems to be emerging relatively unscathed – France, according to this report by the BBC.
It points out that France is a fiscally conservative nation – the French simply take fewer financial risks, their banks invest more cautiously, and personal credit is much more tightly controlled. Home ownership is lower than in the Anglo-Saxon economies, and home-buyers tend to be older. They certainly need a much bigger deposit. All this means that it’s very difficult for French individuals to spend money they don’t have.
Growth, of course, is relatively slow in France and individuals are feeling the impact of rising prices – especially of food and oil – as much as anyone else. And France can hardly be completely isolated from events in the rest of the world. But, watching the world financial system crash and burn, the French might be forgiven the feeling that they know something that the rest of the world appears to have forgotten.