The French economy is emerging from the crisis “without a scar”



The French economy seems to be on the right track so as not to suffer from the consequences of the very strong upheavals suffered during the crisis. At least that is what emerges from the latest forecasts from the Banque de France, published this Sunday, December 19, which foresees a fairly clear horizon for the next three years.

By 2024, the GDP should indeed have completely wiped out the 2020 air gap and returned to the trajectory previously planned. The unemployment rate is also showing a lasting downward trend. It is on a slope gradually approaching 7.5%, as was the case just before the Covid-19 pandemic.

These indicators turned green show “That the crisis has left no scars », Rejoices Olivier Garnier, managing director in charge of studies at the Banque de France. However, he emphasizes, “This good news was by no means obvious. This had not been the case during the post-crisis period of 2008 when we had never managed to join the previous trend. “

An inflation bump

There remains, however, a data which has been permanently disturbed by the crisis, the evolution of prices. Between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, the Banque de France even sees “An inflation bump” before a very gradual decline. And even once the “Bump” a little flattened, the period will continue to be marked by much higher inflation than that of previous years.

In terms of inflation, the Banque de France therefore does not foresee a return to the world before, with a price increase of between 0.5 and 1% each year. Rather, it expects a return to an older world, that of the period preceding the financial crisis of 2008. A time when inflation was cruising around 2% per year.

Wage increases to come

In the near future, even if the price of a barrel of oil were to calm down, prices should indeed continue to be pushed upwards. After 2.1% this year, the increase could reach 2.5% next year before falling back to around 1.5% the following two years. This persistent inflation would take place in two phases. The first, in 2022, by an increase in the price of manufactured products. The second, from 2023, with more marked increases in the price of services.

→ ANALYSIS. Inflation is on the rise across Europe, but unevenly

Inflation in services is believed to be driven by wage costs, which the Banque de France sees emerging for two reasons. Wages would increase first in response to “Strong current price increases”.Then they would be carried by “The influence of the good performance of the labor market”, which gives more bargaining power to employees.

Purchasing power that continues to grow

The Banque de France is counting on wage increases of around 3% in 2023 and 2024. These increases should allow households to see their purchasing power increase over the next three years, including in 2022, despite the upturn in income. ‘inflation.

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The Banque de France delivers a slightly different analysis from that of INSEE, which forecasts a decline in purchasing power in the first half of 2022. The difference between the two estimates is partly due to the method of calculating “the indemnity”. inflation ”which began to be paid to 38 million households. INSEE fully entered it into the accounts in 2021. The Banque de France split it into two, half over 2021, and half over 2022. The second difference is the horizon of the forecast, which ends at the end of June 2022 for INSEE but runs for the entire year at the Banque de France.

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