We want to create a French Mittelstand, says Macron’s right hand man 

Emmanuel Macron’s planned economic reforms should kick-start the creation of millions of jobs and help build a business powerhouse in France to rival Germany’s famed Mittelstand, according to a close ally of the French President.

Chopping back red tape and making it easier for small companies to grow and hire staff should provide a major boost to the economy over the next 12 to 18 months, Benjamin Griveaux said on a trip to London.

“We have the small companies and we have big companies, and in between are the mid-sized firms with more than 250 workers and more than €50m turnover. We have 4,000 companies like this in France,” said the minister of state, noting that regulations intensify when small companies grow to reach this scale.

Emmanuel Macron, left, wants to boost the French economy by reforming the jobs market, which Mr Griveaux hopes will bring the number of strong mid-sized firms closer to the level in Germany Credit: Stephane Mahe/REUTERS

“Germany has 12,000, Great Britain has between 8,000 and 9,000, the same in Italy. There is no reason why France cannot reach that level.

“This is very important because this is where the jobs of tomorrow are, this is where you can have a good exportation process. Our commercial balance has been bad for a long time because our exports are weak, and we are weak because [our small firms] don’t have the proper size to do that.”

Mr Griveaux, who was one of the founding members of the President’s political party En Marche, was in the UK to meet companies and persuade them that France’s unfriendly business environment is changing.

The labour market reforms aim to make it easier for companies to fire workers, which should also embolden employers to take on workers in the first place, reducing the country’s painfully high 9.8pc rate of unemployment.

Previous administrations have struggled to make serious reforms, typically facing substantial opposition from trade unions.

Mr Griveaux dismissed the strikes as having a “low participation” level Credit: LOIC VENANCE/AFP

Mr Macron wants to push ahead with labour reforms quickly, counting on his election victory and parliamentary majority to help carry the programme through, though he has also spent the summer negotiation with unions in an effort to avoid any clash.

Talking about recent strikes and the extent of demonstrations, Mr Griveaux said: “The unions saw 100,000 people and the police saw only 20,000, so it was something in between. But there was a low participation to be honest,” adding that only one of the three main unions joined the strike.

“Why? Because there was a real round of negotiation, a strong discussion about all kinds of issues. And because I think we have political legitimacy by the vote last May, and it is easier when you have this political drive and political dynamic to implement reforms fast after the election.”

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Big companies abandoning quarterly financial statements to pay attention to longer-term targets

Big listed information mill abandoning quarterly financial statements to pay attention to longer-term targets, in moves investors hope can help tackle Britain’s weak productivity.

Two in five FTSE 100 giants have finally scrapped quarterly reporting, based on data in the Investment Association (IA), a lobby group for major City money managers.

The figure represents a decline of 19pc since October. Second-tier listed companies happen to be faster to reply to pressure to decrease quarterly reports.

Three from five no more provide updates every three several weeks, lower 25pc since October.

The IA stated the figures demonstrated its effort to “discourage companies from participating in short-term behaviour” had been heeded by boards.

It launched an offer against quarterly reporting this past year after identifying it as being an obstacle to improving productivity. Investors, economists and Government ministers have puzzled over Britain’s weak productivity for a long time.

Output growth has stalled because the Economic Crisis, departing the nation trailing worldwide rivals for example Germany, France and also the U . s . States.

A range of factors continues to be blamed for that crisis, such as the rise of zero-hrs contracts and bad control over large companies.

The IA argues short-termism by which companies concentrate on quarterly targets instead of lengthy-term strategy are members of the issue.

Chris Cummings, Investment Association

Chris Cummings, IA leader stated: “Stronger, more lucrative companies are more inclined to provide the lengthy-term investment returns for that huge numbers of people whose savings and investments are managed by our industry.”

Listed companies haven’t been needed to write quarterly financial statements, also referred to as interim management statements, since 2014, once the Financial Conduct Authority introduced Britain into line with European legislation.

Companies were slow to react, however, partially prompting the IA campaign. Based on the lobby group, 57 from the FTSE 100 and 87 from the FTSE 250 still produce quarterly reports.

Recent big names to abandon the practice include Schroders, Legal and General, Centrica, Diageo and Aviva. 

United kingdom exports towards the EU surge on less strong pound 

Britain’s factories taken advantage of an outburst in sales towards the EU within the first 1 / 2 of this season as export growth outstripped import growth.

The United kingdom still imports way over it exports departing the nation having a goods deficit amounting to €53bn (£48bn) for that six several weeks to June in the do business with the EU, but that’s lower from €57.8bn within the same duration of 2016.

A less strong pound means British-made merchandise is more competitive abroad, while imports tend to be more costly to United kingdom companies and consumers.

Britain exports €104bn of products to all of those other world, outweighing the €94.7bn of products it transmits to EU customers. But United kingdom imports in the EU add up to €147.7bn, while individuals from elsewhere are available in at €134.7bn.

Britain’s total trade deficit has reduced from €102.2bn within the first 1 / 2 of 2016 to €83.7bn this season.

The annual snapshot of worldwide trade, printed by Eurostat, lends weight to arguments the EU depends heavily on Britain’s marketplace for its products but additionally demonstrated that British business depends on do business with the bloc.

The British trade deficit could give leverage to British Brexit negotiators who visit The city for that third round of talks the following month. Now the federal government printed a situation paper with United kingdom-EU trade to stay as frictionless as you possibly can.

In June Germany exported almost two times just as much to Britain because it imported – €6.8bn to €3.6bn – departing the United kingdom having a €3.2bn deficit within the month.

France, another member condition most abundant in affect on the Brexit talks, offered €2.9bn-price of goods to Britain and imported approximately €2.7bn, departing a far more modest gap of €178m.

But Britain offered more goods to eire (€1.9bn) of computer imported (€1.2bn). Preserving the “invisible border” between Northern Ireland and Ireland is going to be discussed by British and EU Brexit negotiators within the week of August 28.

Simultaneously the Drinks and food Federation stated exports from Britain soared 8.5pc to some record a lot of £10.2bn within the first half of the season.

“It is excellent to determine such strong development in our exports to EU Member States,” stated the group’s director general Ian Wright.

“The EU remains an important marketplace for United kingdom exports and for resources of key ingredients and recycleables utilized by our industry. We feel you will find significant possibilities to develop our sector’s exports further still.”