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). Continue reading “The potential headache of measuring economies in public expenditure”

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Flexibility versus the new fiscal effort – the last word has not been spoken

By Raul Sampognaro

On 13 January, the Juncker Commission clarified its position on the flexibility that the Member States have in implementing the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). The new reading of the SGP should result in reining in the fiscal consolidation required for certain countries[1]. Henceforth, the Commission can apply the “structural reform clause” to a country in the corrective arm of the Pact[2], whereas previously this was only possible for countries in the Pact’s preventive arm[3]. This clause will allow a Member State to deviate temporarily from its prior commitments and postpone them to a time when the fruits of reform would make adjustment easier. In order for the Commission to agree to activate the clause, certain conditions must be met: Continue reading “Flexibility versus the new fiscal effort – the last word has not been spoken”

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What impact will fiscal policy have on French growth?

By Eric Heyer

The proper framework for analyzing the French economy is a large economy that is not very open, and not a small open economy: the country’s economic situation has deteriorated sharply and is still far from its equilibrium position (mass unemployment, the existence of excess capacity), and its European neighbours are adopting identical approaches to fiscal policy. Under these conditions, everything indicates that the fiscal multipliers are high. The theoretical debate about the value of the multiplier and the role of agents’ expectations must therefore give way to the empirical evidence: the multipliers are positive and greater than one. Continue reading “What impact will fiscal policy have on French growth?”

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