2015-2017 forecasts for the French economy

By Mathieu PlaneBruno DucoudréPierre Madec, Hervé Péléraux and Raul Sampognaro

This text summarizes the OFCE’s economic forecast for the French economy for 2015-2017

After a hesitant upturn in the first half of 2015 (with growth rates of 0.7% and 0% respectively in the first and second quarter), the French economy grew slowly in the second half year, with GDP rising by an average of 1.1% for the year as a whole. With a GDP growth rate of 0.3% in the third quarter of 2015 and 0.4% in the fourth quarter, which was equal to the pace of potential growth, the unemployment rate stabilized at 10% at year end. Household consumption (+1.7% in 2015) was boosted by the recovery in purchasing power due in particular to lower oil prices, which will prop up growth in 2015, but the situation of investment by households (-3.6%) and the public administration (-2.6%) will continue to hold back activity. In a context of sluggish growth and moderate fiscal consolidation, the government deficit will continue to fall slowly, to 3.7% of GDP in 2015. Continue reading “2015-2017 forecasts for the French economy”

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French competitiveness: The object of a supply policy

By Sarah Guillou

The 2014-2015 edition of The Global Competitiveness Report [1] by the World Economic Forum sheds light on the political debate between those who like to prioritize a supply policy and those who instead make the conditions governing offer their top priority. Note that competitiveness is a key factor in future growth in mature economies that specialize in high-tech or high added-value products [2]. Continue reading “French competitiveness: The object of a supply policy”

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Has the 35-hour work week really “weighed down” the French economy?

By Eric Heyer

Did the Aubry laws introducing the 35-hour work week in France between 1998 and 2002 really make French business less competitive and lead to job losses, as is suggested in the latest report from the OECD? Has France seen its economic performance decline post-reform relative to its European partners? Have the public finances been “weighed down” by these laws?

A review of our recent macroeconomic history, coupled with international comparisons, provides some answers to these questions. Continue reading “Has the 35-hour work week really “weighed down” the French economy?”

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France: less austerity, more growth

By Eric Heyer

This text summarizes the OFCE’s 2013-2014 forecast for the French economy.

In 2013, the French economy should experience annual average growth of 0.2%, which means that by the end of the year its level of production should return to the level of six years earlier, at the end of 2007. This mediocre performance is very far from the trajectory that an economy recovering from a crisis should be on.

The French economy did however have great potential for recovery: average spontaneous growth of about 2.6% per annum over the period 2010-2013 was possible and would have allowed France to make up the output gap accumulated in 2008-2009. But this “recovery” has been hampered mainly by the introduction of budget savings plans in France and across Europe. For the single year 2013, this fiscal strategy will cut economic activity in France by 2.4 GDP points. Continue reading “France: less austerity, more growth”

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Holding to the required course

By Eric Heyer

This text summarizes the OFCE’s 2013-2014 forecasts for the French economy.

In 2013, the French economy should see negative annual average growth, with a fall in GDP of 0.2%, before a modest recovery in 2014, with growth of 0.6 % (Table 1). This particularly mediocre performance is far from the path that an economy pulling out of a crisis should be taking. Continue reading “Holding to the required course”

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The irresistible attraction to recession

By Hervé Péléraux

Here is the leading indicator for the French economy, updated to 30 January 2011.

The February forecasts of the leading indicator significantly worsened the outlook for the French economy at the turn of 2011 and 2012. Continue reading “The irresistible attraction to recession”

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