Euro Crisis

France Loses Export Ground to European Rivals

Competitiveness-wise, the French aren't doing well


Europe's exports offer signs of hope for countries rebuilding their economies amid the debt crisis rubble but also contain a warning for other countries, especially France, that have put off critical reforms.

Moody's recent credit downgrade of France cited an economy hobbled by rigid labor, goods and service markets, which hurt the fiscal outlook as well.

While countries in the eurozone's periphery have liberalized significantly, France has held off and its trajectory is a big question mark, said Jacob Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.