The Associated Press reports that the French economy is the 2nd strongest economy in Europe. But they tell us even more about the conditions within and around that economy by reporting that France sold 6 billion Euros worth of short term bonds at negative interest on Monday.
In other words, people who bought the bonds know they are going to lose money ahead of time, but they're trusting that France's economy is strong enough to keep them from losing all their money: which is a risk they take if they put their money into any number of European banks set for collapse.
The three month bonds were sold at a negative .005 yield and one year bonds at negative .0013.
French President Francois Hollande addressed the stagnant numbers thus: "My goal is to make our social model evolve to [a] better guarantee...The time has come to put France on the move, and there is no time to lose."