As goes the French economy, so goes the reelection chances of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Although Sarkozy leads in round one, polls show that lead is shrinking at a pace that suggests he will not carry round one.
More importantly, Sarkozy is trailing again by double digits in polls for the decisive round two.
For those not familiar with elections in France, round one pits candidates from all the parties against each other on April 22. If no one gets 50%, the top two finishers square off in round two, on May 6.
France's economy unexpectedly returned to contraction in the third quarter as investment dropped, dealing a new blow to President Francois Hollande's efforts to revive the euro zone's second biggest economy. The 2 trillion euro ($2.7 trillion) economy shrank 0.1 percent in the quarter, slowing sharply from growth of 0.5 percent in the previous three months, the INSEE statistics agency said on Thursday.