President Francois Hollande
Borrowing costs between France and Germany are widening as President Francois Hollande struggles to deal with the economic stagnation of his countryReuters

France's economic woes intensified as its borrowing costs rose at a rapid rate which showed that the performance of its economy remains widely out of sync with powerful neighbour Germany.

The spread between German and French bond yields is now 0.61 basis points, which is the furthest diversion between German borrowing costs and French borrowing costs since August 2013.

Meanwhile the credit spread between German bonds and those in Spain and Italy has narrowed to the lowest levels since 2011.

In addition, the latest Markit eurozone manufacturing PMI showed France's output hit a seven month low, the weakest among the eurozone's major economies

France's PMI score slumped to 47 and came under the expected estimate of 47.1.

Any score below 50 represents a contraction and any score above that is interpreted as an expansion.

What was striking about France's results were that the rest of the PMI data for the eurozone ended 2013 on a year's high.

It came in at 52.7 in December that was the strongest growth in over two and a half years.

Even Greece's PMI score was higher at 49.6 that was a 52 month high for the country.

"France remains a concern. While Germany, Italy and Spain are seeing the strongest output growth since early 2011, buoyed to varying degrees by improved export sales, France is seeing a steepening downturn, in part the result of widening export losses," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, the author of the survey.

"This suggests that competitiveness is a key issue which the French manufacturing sector needs to address to catch up with its peers."

France versus Germany

During 2013 France's economic misfortunes have increased, while Germany has strengthened - reflected in the fortune's the respective leaders.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-elected for a historic third-term in September 2013 and has just put together a grand coalition of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, the sister Christian Social Union (CSU) party and the left-leaning Social Democrats.

By contrast president Francois Hollande's poll ratings and popularity have steadily declined since he took office; his management of the French economy and especially his tax reforms have been lambasted, culminating in French farmers taking to the streets in protest in November last year.