Measuring Macron: Is France’s leader rebooting the economy?

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 12, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron swept into office last May on a pledge to create jobs and improve the lives of workers by rebooting the country’s economy.

A year on, annual economic growth has picked up — closing the gap with Germany and pulling away from other major European powers such as Britain and Italy. The pace of new business openings have increased sharply and improvements in the jobs market have left some employers warning about skilled workers being in short supply.

But economists say the rosier picture is due at least in part to stronger growth across Europe as well as policies put in place by Macron’s predecessor, Francois Hollande.

To help measure Macron’s impact on the economy, Reuters has compiled a graphic showing a dashboard of indicators that will update as new data is released over the course of his presidency.

The data show some early signs that the president’s policies are having an effect among entrepreneurs and in the labor market. But there has been little change in disposable income for workers and efforts to reverse years of declining competitiveness don’t appear to have borne fruit.

Macron’s ability to re-invigorate the euro zone’s second-largest economy will be a critical factor in how his success is measured at home. It will also shape how much influence he can bring to bear in Europe, where he is trying to convince Germany of the need to further overhaul economic and monetary union to bolster the euro zone against future crises.

 While the economy grew quickly after Macron’s election, it slowed at the start of this year due in part due to one-off factors that curtailed consumer spending, according to figures released Friday. Economists said they expect growth to return to a healthy clip.