The year ahead gives us a number of reasons to be optimistic that I would like to share with you. World trade has taken an upturn, oil prices remain reasonable, and business leaders worldwide have a positive take on their environment. So the starting point for 2018 is solid.
Growth, along with the ensuing employment, will provide an opportunity for all citizens to regain a foothold in a complex and difficult world. Economic policymakers will be responsible for adopting the right reforms to set the stage for a recovery that provides enhanced job creation and reduces uncertainty for each and every member of society. In this respect, France has high hopes on the reforms that will be debated in 2018: the reform to vocational training and job skills lies at the heart of the French government’s roadmap and the policies the authorities adopt in this area will provide the key counterpart to the labor law decrees in making the job market more efficient. Continue reading →
Will the recovery of the French economy be undermined by the murderous attacks in Paris on November 13? Beyond the dramatic aspects and explanations that are not directly our responsibility, it is the question we must ask.
For the French economy this negative shock arrives while it is emerging from a long period of very low growth. In recent months, elements for a more sustainable and favourable trajectory were progressively put in place. The attack could challenge this change in trend. The risk would be to see the economy converging to a slow growth profile that couldn’t generate net jobs creation.
Spontaneously the immediate answer to the question suggests a “wait and see” behavior. The uncertainty engendered by a series of attacks creates a significant blur on the future situation. From the consumer side, additional uncertainty could be perceived through an expected fragility on the labor market. In this case, it would be rational for him to reduce his consumption and save more today to face a weaker situation in the future. As for companies we can imagine that the uncertainty caused by the terrorist attacks could lead to more cautious behavior especially in investment decisions. This would be very damaging because the economic cycle is built over time around the investment.
Therefore one could imagine a negative impact on the activity with an increased risk of recession. Yet it is not so simple. Continue reading →