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In a windswept corner of Dunkirk in northern France, a new factory is rising from the ground.Buoyed by the wider global recovery – as well as corporate tax breaks introduced by Socialist president Francois Hollande in 2014, say economists – France is expected to see growth of 1.7 per cent this year, compared with 1.2 per cent in 2016, according to the Banque de France.The upbeat business mood in France is not just down to the global recovery and Mr Hollande's limited reforms, according to Mr O'Riain.For the past two years, new hires in manufacturing have more than offset job cuts, Trendeo says.About 600 factories have shut down across France since 2009, with the loss of more than 115,000 jobs, Trendeo research shows, and it notes that the new plants hire fewer workers on average than the old ones.Mr Macron has also pledged to cut corporate tax.French unemployment remains above 9 per cent compared with an EU average of 7.7 per cent, and is about 12 per cent in Hauts de France.
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