Why French governments never forecast an economic recession

For half a century, France has experienced four recessions Adobestock

DECRYPTION – France has experienced four recessions in half a century and none was anticipated by the public authorities, too often in denial of reality.

The R word, as the Americans say to designate recessions without having to pronounce it, is never on the lips of our ministers. “France will have positive growth in 2023”, insists since the start of the school year Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economy and Finance. And now the official growth figure has been made public: it will be 1%, the government predicts. GDP will therefore mark a marked slowdown after having increased by 2.7% this year, but at least it will not go into negative territory. Phew.

For its part, the High Council of Public Finances, an independent body from the government and parliament, attached to the Court of Auditors and composed of a dozen public and private experts, judges this forecast “a little high” (sic). We are among good people. The HCFP was created in 2012, precisely to ensure the credibility of the government’s scenarios in terms of public finances, which implies upstream that the “…

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