IMF report on the French economy
Pierre Moscovici, Minister of the Economy and Finance, who already reacted to the International Monetary Fund’s preliminary conclusions on 4 June 2013, notes a great convergence of views with the IMF on the diagnosis and analysis of the risks hanging over economic activity in Europe and France. He fully agrees on the need, from now on, to give priority to growth, which requires adjusting public finances at a sensible pace and implementing ambitious reforms to promote employment and competitiveness.
Since François Hollande’s election, France has continually argued for a reordering of European policies in favour of growth and against comprehensive austerity policies. This is why Pierre Moscovici welcomes the shift towards this – in academic and political debate and within the European and international institutions – in which the IMF has played an active part. Among other things, this shift led the European Commission, then the European Council, to recommend a two-year deadline for France to bring its public deficit back below 3% of GDP.
In this respect, the Minister points out that the 2014 Finance Bill, which will be presented in September, will continue the effort of sorting out public finances whilst supporting growth. It will favour expenditure savings over increases in compulsory contributions.
Growth must be the priority, the core objective of economic policies. Pierre Moscovici welcomes the fact that the IMF commends the scale of the reforms embarked on in France to put our competitiveness back on an even keel, develop our potential growth, improve the functioning of the labour market, safeguard our pension system, modernize public services, regulate the financial sector and simplify the regulatory environment of businesses. Pierre Moscovici recalls the government’s full determination to carry out this agenda of bringing about the country’s economic recovery at the right pace and to defend our social model./.