Among HNWIs and UHNWIs of 17 European cities and Dubai, two fifths (41%) are unsure about whether the EU can turn the economy around and see France as the major trigger for recovery, a survey conducted by JP Morgan Private Bank has revealed.
According to the bank’s autumn 2014 Investor insights, among over 720 interviewees, private clients from Belgium (54%), Ireland (50%) and France (47%) were the most supportive of this view.
The international financial environment remains favourable with liquidity expected to remain abundant and increase further in Europe, JP Morgan predicted. However, reforms is the French economy are long overdue.
Government bond yields have come down in the core to around 1%, hitting a record low in France and the economy has had weak growth due to being "overburdened fiscally, overprotected socially and overregulated commercially". Unemployment has also structurally risen in the country.
Despite issues, France has the "ingredients for economic success if the government can accelerate and broaden its efforts to implement a comprehensive reform programme and a credible medium-term fiscal policy", according to JP Morgan’s survey findings.
Cesar Perez, JP Morgan Private Banking’s EMEA chief investment strategist, said France has significant competitive advantages and "has no reason to fear a more flexible domestic environment or intense international competition".
The country is the world’s fifth largest economy, and with a GDP of $2.75trn, it is still ranked among the top 25 countries by the World Economic Forum, and has strong agricultural and tourist industries. With flexible working and regulatory practices, France has the potential to create new jobs and business opportunities alongside reviving its economy.
Overall, among the markets, Perez said the US "leads the way", with the Treasury bond market driving the country’s growth.
In Europe, he is confident of a 1% growth driven by oil price, weaker currency, less fiscal drag and lower bond yields, despite being worried about the political and social scenario.
However, globally, Perez expects continued market volatility on FX, fixed income and equity, and is planning to "be more tactical" in 2015.