Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Relative Quality and an Import-Export Decline

The French expect quality… or at least higher quality than I’m used to in the U.S.

A 2 euro bottle of wine picked up on impulse at the supermarche is still a tasty treat… think of that… I’m pretty sure that even a bottle of Ripple cost you more than $2.83… especially adjusted for inflation.

Yet I suppose the simple fact is that no one here in France knows the difference… they still have a patisserie, a boulangerie, a bucherie, a fromagerie on virtually every block.

We would call them specialty shops in the U.S. … here they are not very special at all.

Times may be changing a bit though… I notice more Starbucks and more golden arches here in Paris… Is this simply to make the Yanks feel more at ease?

One would hope.

On that note… looks like French imports to the U.S. have taken a pounding along with all other forms of consumption.

Exports to France have held up a bit better… but as you can see… it’s still pretty early in a declining trend that will likely take a few years to bottom out.