France: gradual adjustments (forecasts)

2014-2015 outlook for the French economy

By Éric Heyer, Marion Cochard, Bruno Ducoudré and Hervé Péléraux

In 2013, the French economy grew at an annual average rate of 0.3%, which enabled it to return to the level it had reached six years ago, in early 2008. Between 2008 and early 2011, the economy had shown resilience in comparison with the performance of France’s main partners. In the first quarter of 2011, the country’s GDP had even come close to regaining its pre-crisis level, and lagged only slightly behind Germany and the United States. But the situation changed in the second quarter of 2011 as the austerity measures introduced in 2010 began to have an impact. The initial spurts of recovery seen after the recession were cut off. While the country did experience positive annual GDP growth, until 2013 this was close to zero. Ultimately, France is leaving this six-year period behind with an increased deficit that is still greater than the threshold of 3 GDP points. Fiscal consolidation has not proved very effective: the cost in terms of activity, unemployment and the financial situation for business has been disproportionate to the results. Continue reading “France: gradual adjustments (forecasts)”

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