Current economic developments

Post n°268
Published on 05/11/2022

By Sebastian Stumpner

This blog post examines to what extent the recent surge in international transport costs has fuelled US import price inflation. While we find a moderate effect at the aggregate level, there are significant differences across products that are largely driven by the degree of containerisation.

Chart 1: The share of transport costs has increased only for containerised goods
Chart 1: The share of transport costs has increased only for containerised goods Source: Author’s calculations based on data from TradeDataMonitor.
Post n°264
Published on 03/28/2022

By Léa Le Quéau, Agathe Madeline and Paul Sabalot

The European Union is going to issue close to EUR 800 billion of debt to finance the NextGenerationEU recovery plan, making it one of the largest public debt issuers in the euro area. European debt has some key advantages that would make it ideal as a benchmark asset. However, it still needs to reach the critical mass required to ensure a sufficiently liquid secondary market.

Chart 1: NGEU debt yields are comparable to those of the highest rated euro area issuers Source: Authors’ calculations using Bloomberg data and median of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch ratings (data as at 18/03/2022).
Post n°260
Published on 03/11/2022

By Bruno Cabrillac and Vincent Fleuriet

The Covid-19 crisis, combining supply and demand shocks with associated inflationary pressures, provides an opportunity to reassess the advantages of fixed exchange rate regimes over flexible or intermediate exchange rate regimes, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Indeed, in this context, the anchoring of the currency via the fixed exchange rate gives more monetary policy space…

Inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa Source: IMF (World Economic Outlook, Oct. 2021, dotted line = forecast) and Banque de France calculations.
Post n°256
Published on 02/11/2022

The increase in the money holdings by the non-financial sector in the euro area and the United States during the pandemic is explained by the strong increase in financial savings linked to public transfers and the sustained growth of loans, and in particular (in the euro area), government-guaranteed loans. Portfolio shifts strengthened the monetary dynamics in the United States, while they dampened them in the euro area.

Chart 1. Sources of change in money holdings by households in the euro area (Change in annual flows as a % of GDP)
Chart 1. Sources of change in money holdings by households in the euro area (Change in annual flows as a % of GDP) Source: Euro area sector accounts, ECB.
Post n°252
Published on 01/21/2022

Relative to demand factors, supply-side disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic explain about 60% of longer delivery times and significantly dampened manufacturing output since 2020 in France. According to historical regularities, bottlenecks are expected to unwind in the course of 2022, while forecasts are surrounded by a high degree of uncertainty given the unusual origins of disruptions.

Chart 1: Shock decomposition – Suppliers’ delivery time and output PMI France
Chart 1: Shock decomposition – Suppliers’ delivery time and output PMI France Source: Markit, own calculations. Note: Demeaned index value and ppt. contributions, index increase = faster deliveries. Most recent observation: 2021M12.
Post n°236
Published on 10/29/2021

By Jean-Baptiste Gossé, Aymeric Schneider and Roger Vicquéry

The EU post-Covid recovery plan is the largest European-wide fiscal stimulus in 70 years. This post revisits the experience of the Marshall Plan by highlighting the role of structural effects, conditionality design, the need to prepare the plan exit, the influence of fundamentals and the importance of the plan’s success as a vector of European integration.

Chart 1: Marshall Plan and European plan by type of aid and size of investments financed (% of GDP of recipient countries)
Chart 1: Marshall Plan and European plan by type of aid and size of investments financed (% of GDP of recipient countries)
Post n°234
Published on 10/21/2021

By Chloé Zapha and David Fouet

Using out-of-court proceedings to resolve companies’ financial difficulties can help them to recover by preserving their reputation. However, directors seldom use them, partly because of a lack of information available about these facilities. It would be beneficial for small companies to make use of these "crisis exit" restructuring mechanisms, which are designed for them.

Chart 1: Out-of-court proceedings, which are more effective in helping businesses to recover, account for only 5% of proceedings initiated in 2019
Chart 1: Out-of-court proceedings, which are more effective in helping businesses to recover, account for only 5% of proceedings initiated in 2019 Note: judicial liquidation is “direct” when the company has not made use of other proceedings beforehand. Source: Ministry of Justice - Statistical analysis of the general civil register, 2019
Post n°229
Published on 09/28/2021

By Nicolas Chatelais

In 2020, the fall in GDP was less pronounced in the United States than in Europe. The restrictions on activity and travel – both imposed and voluntary - linked to the fight against the pandemic, which were greater in France/Italy/Spain, account for more than 40% of the gap with the United States. This factor was amplified by the difference in sectoral specialization (US digital advantage, weight of tourism in Europe). The difference in the level of fiscal support explains less than 20% of the gap.

Chart 1: Factors explaining the gap in GDP variation between the United States and Europe in 2020
Chart 1: Factors explaining the gap in GDP variation between the United States and Europe in 2020 Sources: IMF, national, author’s calculations
Post n°222
Published on 07/02/2021

By Pierre Sicsic

The increase in the French fiscal deficit in 2020 was greater than in 2009 and accompanied by a deterioration in the external deficit. Accordingly, the nation's financing requirements (for households, companies and government) increased in 2020, unlike in 2009, with the financing requirements of financial and non-financial corporations increasing.

Chart 1: Net lending by sector (in percentage points of GDP)
Chart 1: Net lending by sector (in percentage points of GDP) Note: “Companies” refers to financial and non-financial corporations.
Post n°219
Published on 06/15/2021

By Vanessa Doucinet, David Ly and Ghjuvanni Torre

Between the end of December 2019 and the end of March 2021, companies' gross debt increased by EUR 224 billion, while their cash position rose by EUR 215 billion. Based on a first analysis of the 205,392 balance sheets received by the Banque de France, it is possible to break down these overall reassuring figures in more detail: 6 to 7% of the total number of rated companies could face difficulties when the support measures are lifted.

Chart 1: Changes in companies’ gross financial debt and cash position Source: Banque de France - Companies Directorate. Key: “sensitive” quadrant, red disk: 11.4% of companies that have not taken out a State-guaranteed loan (SGL) whose gross debt has increased by 22% and cash position has decreased by 33%.

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