When the OECD persists in its mistakes…

By Henri Sterdyniak

The OECD has published an economic policy note, “Choosing fiscal consolidation compatible with growth and equity” [1]). There are two reasons why we find this note interesting. The OECD considers it important, as it is promoting it insistently; its chief economist has, for instance, come to present it to France’s Commissariat à la Stratégie et à la Prospective [Commission for Strategy and Forecasts]. The subject is compelling: can we really have a fiscal austerity policy that drives growth and reduces inequality? Recent experience suggests otherwise. The euro zone has been experiencing zero growth since it embarked on a path of austerity. An in-depth study by the IMF [2] argued that, “fiscal consolidations have had redistributive effects and increased inequality, by reducing the share of wages and by increasing long-term unemployment”. So is there some miracle austerity policy that avoids these two problems? Continue reading “When the OECD persists in its mistakes…”

Share Button

The strange forecasts of the European Commission for 2014

By Mathieu Plane

The figures for French growth for 2014 published by the European Commission (EC) in its last report in May 2013 appear to reflect a relative consensus. Indeed, the Commission expects GDP to grow by 1.1% in 2014, which is relatively close to the forecasts by the OECD (1.3%) and the IMF (0.9%) (Table 1). However, these forecasts of broadly similar growth hide some substantial differences. First, in defining future fiscal policy, the Commission, unlike the other institutions, considers only the measures already approved. Continue reading “The strange forecasts of the European Commission for 2014”

Share Button

Revising the multipliers and revising the forecasts – From talk to action?

By Bruno Ducoudré

Following on the heels of the IMF and the European Commission (EC), the OECD has also recently made a downward revision in its forecast for GDP growth in the euro zone in 2012 (-0.4%, against -0.1% in April 2012) and in 2013 (0.1%, against 0.9% in April 2012). In its latest forecasting exercise, the OECD says it now shares with the other international institutions (the IMF [i] and EC [ii]) the idea that the multipliers are currently high in the euro zone [iii]: the simultaneous implementation of fiscal austerity throughout the euro zone while the economy is already in trouble, combined with a European Central Bank that has very little leeway to cut its key interest rate further, is increasing the impact of the ongoing fiscal consolidation on economic activity. Continue reading “Revising the multipliers and revising the forecasts – From talk to action?”

Share Button

Why has French growth been revised downwards?

By Bruno Ducoudré and Eric Heyer

In its October 2012 forecasts, the OFCE has revised its growth forecast for 2012 and 2013. The major international institutions, the OECD, the IMF and the European Commission, also regularly review their growth forecasts to incorporate newly available information. An analysis of these revised forecasts is particularly interesting in that it shows that these institutions use low fiscal multipliers in developing their forecasts. In other words, the recessionary impact of fiscal policy has been underestimated by the OECD, the IMF and the European Commission, leading to substantial revisions of their growth forecasts, as is evidenced by the dramatic shifts by the IMF and the European Commission in the size of the multipliers. Continue reading “Why has French growth been revised downwards?”

Share Button