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Economy

Published on October 6, 2014
Statements by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at his joint press briefing with Mr Alexander Stubb, Prime Minister of Finland (excerpts)
Paris, October 2, 2014

(…)

Q. – Regarding your 2015 budget, which has been deemed over-optimistic, the High Council on Public Finances, for example, believes your growth forecast is over-optimistic. What do you say about that?

THE PRESIDENT – Having set growth at 1% in 2015 seems realistic. A lot will depend on several parameters. The first is what we do in Europe and the decisions we take in October. The second parameter is calming what may happen on our borders, because we know there may be unfortunate consequences if the conflict in Ukraine goes on beyond what’s being experienced today.

And there’s also the level of the euro, which is currently at a more realistic rate than a few months ago. The euro stands at 1.26 compared to the dollar. It was 1.37 a few weeks ago.

There are interest rates that are still exceptionally low. France, for example, is currently borrowing at less than 1.3% over 10 years. There’s also what the European Central Bank is doing to put liquid assets into circulation which the banks can use to lend to businesses; finally, there’s Jean-Claude Juncker’s €300 billion plan, even though this plan includes public and private investment. It will be used over several years, but the quicker the better.

On the basis of all those parameters, and in the knowledge that the American economy is picking up again and that growth is still high in the emerging countries, although they may have experienced a slowdown, achieving 1% growth seems to me realistic.

That’s what we’ve agreed, and it’s also what most economists have forecast. (…)

So we’re still confident. (…)

The Responsibility Pact, which was already implemented in May, is going to be fully implemented from January onwards, inevitably with consequences on activity and employment in 2015. (…)./.

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