Though recent economic reports show some slight improvement in the French economy, the underlying picture is nothing if not bleak. A monthly uptick in industrial production this spring prompted President François Hollande to declare the recession over. He was wrong. To be sure, he can now point, if he wishes, to a modest spring expansion in France’s gross domestic product (GDP). He would do well, however, to resist declaring victory over a few data points. His optimistic response to seeming industrial strength was quickly rebutted by subsequent indicators of renewed decline. He should have known that the preponderance of economic evidence remains grim and is unlikely to change anytime soon.