By Eric Monnet and Camille Thubin
Unlike other forms of investment, construction investment in France has still not returned to the levels seen before the 2008 crisis. The drop in construction activity had a significant negative impact on French employment and GDP growth up until 2016. In the case of housing construction in particular, despite a recent upturn, unfavourable demographic factors could again place a drag on investment growth going beyond 2017.
By Simon Ray
The French real estate market has improved, in particular as a result of the very favourable lending conditions: the latter have increased households’ borrowing capacity. This capacity has grown by nearly 20% since 2014. This is chiefly thanks to lower interest rates followed by an increase in the duration of the loans, both related to an exceptionally accommodative monetary policy. A summary indicator helps measure this improved borrowing capacity.
Standard of living has slowed continuously over the past decades in most developed economies, mainly due to a productivity slowdown. Have we entered a period of secular stagnation? In fact, many countries still have a significant catch-up potential, even in Europe, but to achieve this catch-up, the implementation of structural reforms is required.
This blog post summarises a study covering the 1995-2007 period focusing on the local effects of Chinese import competition on the French labour market: the competition displaced jobs in the manufacturing sector; it also placed downward pressure on average hourly wages, and modified the wage distribution, with limited impacts on the lowest wages, probably as a result of the lower limit set by the statutory minimum wage.
See Malgouyres (2016) for a full list of countries considered to be "low-cost". Source: Comtrade.
By Rémy Lecat
In 2017, French growth is expected to accelerate to around 1.6%. In addition to support from monetary policy, ambitious structural reforms are necessary to raise the current potential growth rate, which is only just below 1.25%. These reforms need to focus on education, vocational training, and labour and competition law.