The potential headache of measuring economies in public expenditure

By Raul Sampognaro

Since 2009, the French budget deficit has been cut by 3.3 GDP points, from 7.2 percent of GDP in 2009 to 3.9 points in 2014, even though the economic situation has been weighing heavily on the public purse. This improvement was due to the implementation of a tighter budget policy. Between 2010 and 2013, most of the consolidation effort came from higher taxes, but since 2014 the effort has largely involved savings in public expenditure. In 2014, public expenditure excluding tax credits[1]  recorded its weakest growth since 1959, the year when INSEE began to publish the national accounts: in value, spending excluding tax credits increased by 0.9%, though only 0.3% in volume terms (deflated by the GDP deflator). Lire la suite de « The potential headache of measuring economies in public expenditure »

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A new economic world. Measuring well-being and sustainability in the 21st century

Éloi Laurent and Jacques Le CacheuxUn nouveau monde économique, Mesurer le bien-être et la soutenabilité au 21e siècle, Odile Jacob, 2015.

Introduction: Measuring the possibles

“Let no one ignorant of geometry enter here!”

Inscription over the doors of Plato’s Academy in Athens


We live under the reign of gross domestic product (GDP) – 2014 marked its seventieth anniversary. Created by the American economist Simon Kuznets at the dawn of the 1930s, GDP was adopted as an international standard for sovereign accounting at the conference held by the WW2 Allies in July 1944 in the small town of Bretton Woods, in the middle of nowhere. GDP is used to measure monetizable market activities and is the benchmark of economic growth and living standards, and as such over the decades it has become the ultimate measure of nations’ success – precise, robust and comparable. Lire la suite de « A new economic world. Measuring well-being and sustainability in the 21st century »

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Less austerity = more growth and less unemployment

Eric Heyer and Xavier Timbeau

The European Commission has just released its spring forecast, which anticipates a recession in 2012 for the euro zone (“mild” in the words of the Commission, but still -0.3%), which is in line with the OFCE’s economic analysis of March 2012.

Lire la suite de « Less austerity = more growth and less unemployment »

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He who sows austerity reaps recession

By the Department of Analysis and Forecasting, headed by X. Timbeau

This article summarizes OFCE note no.16 that gives the outlook on the global economy for 2012-2013.

The sovereign debt crisis has passed its peak. Greece’s public debt has been restructured and, at the cost of a default, will fall from 160% of GDP to 120%. This restructuring has permitted the release of financial support from the Troika to Greece, which for the time being solves the problem of financing the renewal of the country’s public debt. The contagion that hit most euro zone countries, and which was reflected in higher sovereign rates, has been stopped. Tension has eased considerably since the beginning of 2012, and the risk that the euro zone will break up has been greatly reduced, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, the process of the Great Recession that began in 2008 being transformed into a very Great Recession has not been interrupted by the temporary relief of the Greek crisis. Lire la suite de « He who sows austerity reaps recession »

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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. Lire la suite de « The irresistible attraction to recession »

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