Coronavirus: The Banque de France very slightly lowers its growth forecast for 2022, to 3.6%

Due to the renewed epidemic and the persistent supply difficulties that risked causing a decline in activity at the start of the year, the Banque de France slightly lowered its forecast for growth of the French economy for 2022, this Sunday, anticipating an increase of 3.6%, against 3.7% previously.

Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) remains “solid”, however, with a forecast raised to + 2.2% for 2023 (instead of + 1.9% previously), estimates the French central bank in its new macroeconomic projections. It predicts that France will regain 2023 “a pace close” to its pre-crisis level, with growth of around 1, 4%.

Cautious forecasts

This return to the trend of before the epidemic is a sign that “the crisis has left no scar in terms of the level of production and potential production”, greeted Olivier Garnier, CEO of the Banque de France at a press conference. He sees the effect of massive public support for investment deployed via the recovery plan and the France investment plan 2024, as well as “dynamism of the labor market. ”

These forecasts are however a little more cautious than those of the government, which at this stage still expects growth of 4% in 2022, despite the epidemic resurgence and the appearance of the Omicron variant. The Banque de France is also presenting an alternative scenario, in the event of the imposition of additional restrictions in the first half of the year 2021, which would lead to more growth. low next year (around 2.2%), but which would catch up in 2023 (+ 3.5%).

Two phases of inflation

In its central scenario, which forecasts 6.7% growth in 2021 , it estimates that the growth will be carried next year “by the rebound of all components of domestic demand”, namely household consumption, with a gradual decline in the savings surplus accumulated during the crisis, as well as investment, in particular that of companies , thanks to the stabilization of their margins. Conversely, the contribution of foreign trade “would not recover in 2022”, still lagging behind in certain sectors.

This growth would also translate into an increase in employment, with an unemployment rate around 7.9% in 2022, and purchasing power, supported by wage increases. As for inflation, which has experienced a surge in recent months, after a fine peak 2008, the Banque de France sees two successive phases: first the maintenance of a significant current price increase 2022, with an average rate of 2.5% next year, before a reflux around 1.5% in 2023, i.e. the level observed before the financial crisis of 2008.