Bezos's comments give a rare glimpse into his interest in the auto industry. Amazon recently invested in two self-driving start-ups.Technologyread more
While investing often seems like a contrarian game where going against the flow feels like the better bet, the reality is that investors who bought the most-favored stocks...Hedge Fundsread more
"We are now embarking on a new Long March, and we must start all over again!" Xi Jinping said.Marketsread more
The launch comes as Apple's laptops have been criticized for a keyboard design that users say breaks easily and results in key presses resulting in doubled-up characters or...Tech Driversread more
Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners said Apple tried to buy Tesla six years ago for a higher price than where the stock now trades.Technologyread more
The White House has threatened to slap tariffs on apparel and footwear, leading retailers to speak out about how this would hurt business.Retailread more
Connecticut state Sen. Alex Bergstein's divorce case with her husband, Morgan Stanley managing director Seth Bergstein, has exposed her new romantic relationship with her...Politicsread more
Stock pickers are having their best year in a decade, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.Marketsread more
Binky Chadha, chief equity strategist at the firm, expects the market to pull back over the next three months before quickly bouncing back up.Investingread more
Comcast is working on a device to monitor people's health at home, as well as some media and communications services, according to people familiar with the plans.Technologyread more
The Twitter co-founder and Obvious Ventures partner spoke about Beyond Meat on Tuesday at Collision Conference in Toronto.Technologyread more
France: It's Europe's second-biggest economy yet it's likely to remain one of the region's biggest laggards for some time to come, analysts say.
Data on Thursday showed French industrial production rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, its strongest pace in four years – apparently boding well for a nascent recovery thanks to the weak euro, lower oil prices and European Central Bank stimulus.
Nonetheless, with unemployment stubbornly high and the Socialist government facing resistance from trade unions and the left wing of its party to implementing long-term economic reforms, concerns about France's recovery will remain, analysts said.
Indeed, a survey published by Markit earlier this week showed factory activity in France remains in contraction territory together with beleaguered Greece.
"Warning lights are flashing particularly brightly over France and Greece, " Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said in a statement following the release of purchasing managers' index (PMI) – a closely-watched measure of activity.
Other economists added that while the PMI data has not always been the most reflective indicator of French economic activity in recent years, there remained significant areas of concern.
"The start of the year does seem better for France – the consumer recovery has gained momentum and the industrial production numbers have been better," Jessica Hinds, European Economist at Capital Economics in London, told CNBC.
"But we remain fairly pessimistic on France," she added. "We are cautious because of high unemployment and structural rigidities as France struggles with a rigid labor market and competitiveness."
France's unemployment rate is at about 10.4 percent, below the euro area average of just over 11 percent but well above the average of around 7 percent seen in the economies of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Analysts said improvements in the employment numbers remained elusive since French companies continued to make job cuts. French nuclear group Areva, for instance, said Thursday it plans to cut 6,000 jobs over the next three years.
Hinds said she forecast the French economy to grow about 1 percent this year and next. Capital Economics expects Germany, Europe's biggest economy, to expand 2 percent this year.
Still, France's economy would be one of the biggest beneficiaries in the region from the slide in oil prices and euro seen in the past year, said UBS European Economist Martin Lueck.
Brent crude oil prices have tumbled some 36 percent over the last 12 months, while the euro has shed almost 20 percent of its value against the dollar, giving exporters in the euro zone a boost in overseas markets.
"France relies on consumer spending and real disposable income is getting a boost from the fall in oil prices," Lueck said.
"France is a laggard but the current economic environment is stabilising and giving some breathing space for reforms," he added.
And implementing reforms is the key to turning around France's long-term growth prospects, economists said. France's national statistics office Insee said last month that even with a weak euro and lower oil prices, businesses were holding off on new investment for now.
Following the release on Wednesday of euro zone composite PMI data, with French PMI falling in April to a three-month low of 50.6, Markit's Williamson said in a note: "France… saw growth slow to near stagnation, suggesting the government needs to worker harder to boost competitiveness and lift confidence among both business and consumers if France is not to be left behind in the euro area's recovery."
Follow us on Twitter: