the Delta variant jeopardizes the economic recovery expected by the executive

Do not rejoice too quickly. While Bercy has been working for a few weeks on the preparation of the 2022 budget, which must be presented in September, uncertainties are mounting on the recovery, supposed to allow the economy to pick up again and pave the way for the reforms of the last year of the five-year term. , desired by Emmanuel Macron.

The rapid spread of the Delta variant in the territory, combined with the slowing down of the vaccination campaign, raises fears of the possibility of a fourth wave of Covid-19 at the start of the school year, which could again upset the plans of the executive. “For a little less than a week, the epidemic has regained ground, the Delta variant which is particularly contagious, particularly worrying, is gaining ground very quickly”, was thus worried the spokesman of the government, Gabriel Attal, on France Inter, Monday July 5, evoking the possibility of a fourth wave at the end of the month. At the end of June, the Institut Pasteur had also made this hypothesis, but in the fall, if the current rate of vaccination continued.

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Such a scenario, if accompanied by further restrictions on the economy, as is currently the case in many Asian countries which have had to revise their growth forecasts downwards, could jeopardize the economy. reprise. Or even impose an extension of the support mechanisms on the affected sectors beyond the end of August, when the government hopes to have disconnected most of the aid.

Should we therefore review the figures on which the Head of State is building the scenario for his last year? “ There will be a fourth wave in the fall, but will it hurt gross domestic product [PIB] ?, asks Natixis economist Patrick Artus. Lots of people are vaccinated, and we could probably just shut down restaurants and gyms. This is not likely to jeopardize the recovery. ” The health risk has not disappeared ” but the most probable scenario remains that of a strong recovery, around 6% ”, confirms Philippe Martin, chairman of the economic analysis board, an organization attached to Matignon.

“The priority is the recovery”

At the beginning of April, in the wake of the third reconfinement, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, had to resolve to reduce his growth forecasts for 2021 from 6% to 5%. An estimate judged at the time “Sincere and prudent” by the tenant of Bercy, but which, since, has been exceeded by most French and international forecasting bodies (INSEE indicated last week to expect 6% in 2021). However, the executive does not seem in a hurry to meet it, as the clouds are piling up over the French economy. ” We are maintaining our growth forecast at 5% for the sake of prudence and to take into account the risks of a new epidemic wave at the start of the school year ”, admitted Bruno Le Maire, in an interview with Parisian 2nd of July.

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