What Emmanuel Macron’s Victory Means for Economy
The results are in: Emmanuel Macron has defeated Marine Le Pen in the French Presidential Election. Garnering roughly 65% of the vote, Macron will become France’s youngest president at age 39. This victory will likely provide a shot of change in French politics and economics, as Macron himself is a political newcomer and centrist. He has shown staunch support for European unity, unlike Le Pen, which should ensure a sense of normalcy regarding the EU. While all of this makes for interesting headlines, many are wondering what exactly this means for business. Fortunately, we can analyze some of Macron’s economic views in action due to his prior roles both in and out of government.
Between 2004 and 2008, Macron worked as an Inspector of Finances in the French Ministry of Economy and served as Deputy Rapporteur for the Commission to advance French economic growth in 2007. In 2008, he left the government to work as an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque. Then, from 2012 to 2014, he served as Deputy Secretary-General of the Élysée on President Hollande’s staff and was appointed as the Minister of Economy and Finance in the second Valls Cabinet. In this latter role, Macron was known for pushing forward business-friendly reforms, and openly questioning the effectiveness of France’s socialistic economic approach.
In addition to all of this, Macron has stated clearly on multiple occasions that he is an advocate for a more free market-style economic approach. He is also a supporter of the El Khomri Law, which gives businesses more flexibility in terms of layoffs and overtime payments, among other things. When it comes to trade, he has shown support for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, and plans to negotiate and “rebalance” potential and existing trade agreements to put France in a better position economically. Given this history, Macron’s victory should provide businesses with tempered optimism.
Early indications show that France’s financial sector is very pleased, as some French banks rose by as much as 10% after Macron advanced in the first phase of the election. Given his background as an investment banker, support of EU stability, and promises to deregulate the sector, confidence is high. Similar feelings abound in the technology sector, as Macron has stated pro-tech views, as well.
How much Macron can achieve in his quest to bring a more free market style economic approach to France will be seen as the government as a whole continues to take shape. Overall, businesses in general should feel better than they have in recent history, while the Financial and FinTech sectors should have high confidence in better economic opportunities ahead.