Economists See Macron Win in France Most Positive for Europe

  • Fillon seen as best for business investment and budget
  • Majority say that economy won’t improve at all if Le Pen wins

Macron Focused on French Credibility, Says Goulard

Economists overwhelmingly expect Emmanuel Macron to become the next President of France and see its relationship with the EU improving the most of any other policy if he’s elected, according to a Bloomberg Survey.

Thirty-nine economists were asked to comment on what part of the economy would improve the most depending on which candidate became the next president. Republican candidate and former Prime Minister of France Francois Fillon would be the best for both improving the budget deficit and increasing business investment.

Emmanual Macron is seen as the best candidate to improve the labor market and continue France’s deep involvement in the European Union. Roughly one third of economists said that a victory by National Front Leader Marine Le Pen would not lead to improvement in any of the areas Bloomberg surveyed, though some economists said Le Pen would help improve security and defense in France.

"A Macron victory, which is currently our main scenario, would be positive for Europe and investments," says Julien Manceaux, a senior economist at ING Bank in Brussels, "However, the effect on unemployment could be less rapid if he does not supplement his policies by strong labor reforms. As he will have to deal with a government which is unlikely to be fully on his side, he will have manage both left and right which could prove a perilous exercise."

The first round of French elections will be held on April 23, and independent candidate Macron has 26 percent of the vote, while Le Pen’s support is down to 25 percent, according to a rolling daily poll by Ifop released Friday. Republican Francois Fillon is in third position with 18 percent of the vote in the first round and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is in fourth place with 13 percent of the vote. Macron is seen beating Le Pen in the second round, 61.5 percent to 38.5 percent, according to the poll.

Here’s some more highlights from the Bloomberg survey:

  • Average probability of Macron to be the next President is at 61%, Le Pen at 20%, Fillon at 18%
  • 43 percent of respondents said relationships with the EU will improve if Macron wins, only 5 percent agreed for Fillon and zero percent for Le Pen
    • Business investment will improve the most if Fillion becomes the next president
    • Majority of economists responded "Other" for Le Pen, more than 70% of those said there will be no improvement in economy. 21% see defense and security will improve.
  • Economists are split on the probability of a recession and of a financial crisis if Le Pen wins
  • For a story on how the euro will be impacted in the election, click here.

1) Please assign a probability each group winning the first round of the presidential elections on April 23.

Response Count: 36100%
Francois Fillon/Emmanuel Macron11%
Francois Fillon/Marine Le Pen23%
Emmanuel Macron/Marine Le Pen66%
Other candidates1%

2) Please assign a probability to each candidate becoming the next President of France.

Response Count: 38100%
Fillon18%
Macron61%
Le Pen20%
Other candidate1%

3) Which part of the economy will improve the most if each of the candidate becomes the next President?

Response Count: 37FillonMacronLe Pen
Unemployment Rate10.8%0.0%9.7%
Labor Market16.2%27.0%3.2%
Business Investment43.2%24.3%0.0%
Consumer Spending2.7%5.4%19.4%
Trade0.0%0.0%6.5%
Relationship with the EU5.4%43.2%0.0%
Budget Deficit21.6%0.0%6.5%
Other0.0%0.0%54.8%

4) What is the probability of the French economy going into a recession if Le Pen becomes the next president?

Response Count: 38Probability
Median:50%
Average:51%
High:95%
Low:10%

5) What is the probability of a financial crisis in France if Le Pen becomes the next president?

Response Count: 38Probability
Median:50%
Average:51%
High:100%
Low:10%

Note: Question 1) and 2) are average probability.

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