Economists Jean Pisani-Ferry and Olivier Blanchard plead for strengthening the recovery plan

This is likely to make Bercy leap, where we struggle to repeat that the priority is not to inflate the recovery plan, but to spend it. An increase in spending from 50 to 60 billion euros “In 2021 to 2023” is necessary to respond to the health crisis and its economic repercussions, explain Jean Pisani-Ferry and Olivier Blanchard, in a note published Thursday, May 6 in the university journal The Great Continent, than The world was able to consult. The two authors, one professor at Sciences Po and architect of Emmanuel Macron’s economic program in 2017, the other former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), thus bring their stone in the current debate on the need, or not, to boost the French economy and support for households at a time when health restrictions are gradually being lifted.

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“The large-scale recovery plan adopted by Congress [américain] at the initiative of the Biden administration (…) sparks a debate in France and in Europe: should we do the same? Otherwise, are we threatened with dropping out? “, ask the two economists in the preamble. While specifying that the gigantic American plan appears to them “Excessive” and unsuitable for the French situation, and that emergency measures to support companies and employees have been ” a success “, they write : “The question that arises now, at the end of the summer, is different: what support [des entreprises et des ménages] should we consider? “

According to the note, “ we should set ourselves the explicit objective of completely erasing the after-effects ” of the Covid-19 pandemic. In other words, “Join the pre-health crisis path at the end of 2023 by completely making up the gap that will remain at the start of 2022”. An achievable goal, argue the authors, by helping both companies to catch up with their investment backlog, and the French to consume.

“Better to take the risk of doing (a little) too much”

“This crisis has undoubtedly not left the same consequences as that of 2008, when the banking system was affected. It was even probably accompanied by productivity gains (digitization, new organizational methods, etc.), explains Mr. Pisani-Ferry. Definitely lose the gains of two years of growth, as suggested by the stability program [la trajectoire budgétaire et de croissance] sent to Brussels by Bercy, is not inevitable. But we must not dawdle to support viable but excessively indebted businesses, and restore purchasing power to households that have been the most affected and have no savings. “

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