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AllConjoncture

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    26 July 2022
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    Over the next five years, French economic policy will have to continue to deal with structural issues, such as full employment, the delay of companies in terms of robotisation, the competitiveness of companies and the place of industry. It will most likely also continue to focus, at least in the short term, on supporting household purchasing power, as it has done since 2019. These projects, which will have to be carried out in parallel, will have to be reconciled with the cost of the ecological and energy transition against the background of public debt that has already risen sharply and interest rates that are moving higher, albeit in a controlled way.
    19 July 2022
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    The economy of Algeria was already in a precarious position in 2020 when it had to cope with the double shock of the Covid-19 pandemic and lower hydrocarbon prices. Since then, the situation has improved thanks to the rise in global oil prices and strong demand for gas in Europe. For the first time since 2014, the country should be able to post current account surpluses in 2022-2023, and then accumulate FX reserves. The risk of a balance of payments crisis in the short term is receding. But macroeconomic stability remains fragile as prospects for recovery are modest and public finances are structurally in deficit. The implementation of reforms is a priority to prevent economic troubles in the event of a new oil shock.
    19 June 2022
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    The Covid-19 pandemic weakened Indonesia’s economy. Two years after the crisis, real GDP has returned to 2019 levels, but the labour market is still weak, the poverty rate is higher than before the crisis and investment remains subdued. According to the World Bank, the pandemic’s lasting impact on education and the labour market will cost the country 0.1 points of its long-term growth potential. Today, Indonesia must deal with a new unfavourable economic environment as commodity prices have dramatically increased due to the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. Although growth is bound to be squeezed by the Ukrainian conflict, Indonesia’s external accounts should remain healthy and inflationary pressures should remain moderate. As a net commodity exporter, the country should benefit from higher prices for its export products. Moreover, to contain the impact of rising international prices on domestic prices, the government has already increased energy price subsidies and maintained pump price controls.
    15 June 2022
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    After an unprecedented contraction in activity in 2020, the strong rebound in 2021 did not allow South Africa to return to its pre-crisis level of GDP contrary to most emerging economies. In 2022, activity should remain subdued and growth below 2% in the medium term. The economic outlook remains largely constrained by the need for fiscal consolidation in order to contain the high risk of debt distress, the tense socio-political climate, and structurally by strong infrastructure constraints, first of which the electricity supply. The shock induced by the conflict in Ukraine is also exerting significant pressures that could make fiscal consolidation efforts difficult. The acceleration of inflation is fueling socio-economic difficulties and the demands of the population vis-à-vis the authorities (request for subsidies, expectations regarding wage increases, etc.). However, a potential budgetary slippage raises fears of an unsustainable debt increase while concerns about its level, dynamics and cost are already present. Although the rise in commodity prices should allow for fiscal and exports revenues, the economic environment entails significant downside risk factors. The economic recovery is therefore subject to a number of uncertainties and the authorities’ commitment to the continuation of the reform process will be key in strengthening investor confidence, overcoming obstacles to growth and improving the budgetary balance.
    17 March 2022
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    Colombia’s public finances have come under the spotlight in recent years amidst recurrent adverse external shocks, rising social spending pressures, ongoing challenges in raising revenues, persistent (optimistic) biases in fiscal planning and, as of late, the back loading of fiscal consolidation plans following the Covid-19 shock. The rapid progression of the public debt ratio and the capacity for future policy adjustment have, in particular, become points of concern and have, since the summer 2021, materialized in Colombia losing its investment grade status. However, overly focusing one’s attention on debt levels, debt dynamics or the speed of fiscal adjustment to assess fiscal sustainability in Colombia can lead to overlook important risk-mitigating aspects of the sovereign’s credit profile. Despite facing a challenging scenario of its underlying debt drivers, the sovereign maintains a solid capacity to support debt backstopped by a favorable interest-to-growth differential, low contingent liabilities, a manageable debt-servicing burden and a sound institutional framework. Looking forward, engaging the broadest swath of society in shaping fiscal policy represents a significant challenge that could – if done inclusively – pay important dividends in terms of both economic and fiscal outcomes.
    18 December 2021
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    The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare weaknesses and vulnerabilities in global supply chains. It has increased calls for making global value chains (GVCs) more robust and resilient, and reducing the dependence on East and Southeast Asia. Enterprises are in the process of improving the resilience of their supply chains by improving the transparency of their value chains, and building more redundancy in supplier networks, and transportation and logistics systems. At the macro-level, both the United States and the European Union have been updating their industrial strategies to increase their autonomy in strategic sectors. However, we should not forget that GVCs in itself is not the problem. On the contrary, during the Covid-19 crisis, GVCs have often been a solution, as it has helped to smooth shocks to supply of globally-consumed products.
    30 November 2021
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    So far, Egypt’s economy has weathered the Covid-19 crisis without any significant worsening of its main macroeconomic indicators. GDP growth has remained positive, and the country's budget and external balances are relatively stable. The macroeconomic stabilisation achieved in previous years and external financial support are the main reasons behind these positive performances. In the short term, the outlook is mixed. The rebound in inflation, if it were to persist, could trigger a cycle of monetary tightening, with negative consequences for public finances. In addition, Egypt's external vulnerability remains significant given structural current account deficits and dependence on portfolio investment flows. More fundamentally, the pace of growth is not sufficient to absorb the growing labour force, fuelling the informal economy. The main solution to these challenges lies in increasing private sector (non-hydrocarbon) investment and productivity, which are two recurrent weaknesses of the Egyptian economy.
    27 September 2021
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    In Spain, like in most Western countries, the 2008 crisis caused an unprecedented drop in industrial employment, the pain of which continues to be felt. In fact, there are almost 500,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than in 2008. Some of this decline, however, reflects an increasingly important shift from industrial firms to service offerings, which is not a bad thing. With the Covid-19 crisis and the EUR 69.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), which will be rolled out over the next five years, strengthening industry in Spain has once again become an important area of focus for the authorities. A quarter of the RRP will therefore be dedicated to this objective. Spain currently enjoys comparative advantages in growth sectors such as the automotive sector and renewable energies, especially. Obstacles (low level of investment, shortage of skilled labour) remain significant, however, and will take time to resolve. In the long term, strengthening and modernising Spanish industry are two key levers to achieve the long-term goals set out in the España 2050 plan, which, among other things, foresees a significant increase in labour productivity and R&D by 2030, and still more by 2050.
    China’s public finances have been deteriorating for several years now, and the trend accelerated in 2020 with the Covid-19 crisis. Reforms introduced since 2014 have made the public sector’s accounts more transparent and improved the management of local governments’ budgets and debt. However, those changes have not stopped fiscal imbalances building up. In addition, large quasi- and extra-budgetary operations exist alongside the official budget, and there are many, sometimes opaque, links between the various public-sector entities. This means that analysing the public finances is often a complicated exercise.
    22 July 2021
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    The Covid-19 crisis has deeply affected our economies. Although the rebound observed in recent months seems to have been confirmed, uncertainty persists over their capacity to fully recover. This article will look at how the G7 economies reacted during post-recession phases in the past, in terms of GDP, private consumption and investment. How quickly did GDP in these economies catch up with pre-crisis levels and trends? What were the most dynamic components of aggregated demand during recovery phases? Given the specific characteristics of the Covid-19 crisis, can it really be compared with previous shocks? These are some of the questions that we will discuss in this article while highlighting current sector disparities. 
    The Covid-19 crisis did not spare India, and like many of the emerging economies, the country’s economic and social situation has deteriorated sharply. Yet India’s situation had already begun to deteriorate well before the onset of the pandemic, which only accentuated the country’s weaknesses. The very sharp contraction in GDP triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the economy’s structural vulnerabilities, especially the large number of workers without social protection. With the nationwide lockdown in April and May 2020, 75 million Indians fell below the poverty line, and there is reason to fear that the second wave could have a similar impact. In fiscal year (FY) 2021/2022, GDP growth should rebound vigorously, although forecasts are likely to be revised downwards due to the expected contraction in FY Q1 (the second quarter of the current calendar year), following the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic. In the medium term, growth might fall short of 6% unless there is a significant easing of the structural constraints that are restricting the employment of regular workers and private investment. If growth does not exceed 6%, the government would have to face not only a possible downgrade of its sovereign rating by the rating agencies, but also increasing social risk. 
    24 June 2021
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    In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, bank deposits, which represent the main component of broad money, have seen extremely rapid growth in both the eurozone and the USA. The origins of this newly created money have frequently been imperfectly identified, and the same goes for the possible factors for its destruction. The European methodology for monitoring money supply nevertheless offers a valuable basis for analysis. In this article we will apply this to US data. We learn that between them, the amplification of the Federal Reserve’s securities purchasing programme and the Treasury-guaranteed loan scheme to companies are sufficient to explain the rapid rise in the rate of growth in bank deposits. We also note that the extra money created will not evaporate suddenly once the pandemic is over or nonconventional monetary policies come to an end.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Moroccan economy. After an unprecedented 6.3% decline in GDP in 2020, the first signs of a recovery are still fragile, even though vaccination campaigns are progressing in both Morocco and Europe, by far the country’s biggest trading partner. This is mainly due to the sluggishness of the tourism industry. It is thus vital that the authorities continue to provide support this year. Despite the rise in public debt, fiscal consolidation is unlikely to start before 2022. The rating agencies S&P and Fitch have downgraded the country to speculative grade. For the moment, however, macroeconomic stability is not a major source of concern. But tight fiscal manoeuvring room could become problematic in years to come. It seems to be more crucial than ever to intensify reforms given that the slowdown in growth and its feeble job content was already a source of concern before the crisis.
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