While INSEE forecasts zero growth for France in the second quarter of 2016, the government has blamed the strikes against the Labor law.
It’s a bad surprise: INSEE had forecast growth of 0.3% in the second quarter of 2016. It’s not terrible, but the institute has done its accounts and their estimate is now 0%. A stagnation that surprises many economists given several encouraging factors, such as the drop in the price of oil. “There were fairly favorable factors which suggested that we would have an acceleration in growth, at least in the first half of the year”, according to Mathieu Plane, OFCE economist.
The responsibility of social movements
According to the government, the demonstrations against the labor law are partly responsible. And there would also be the blockades of refineries that affected the country’s industrial production. Never cited, but clearly targeted, the CGT wanted to react: “Household consumption is at half mast because purchasing power is declining”, says Céline Verzeletti, national secretary of the CGT. On the strength of this conviction, the CGT and the inter-union opposed to the Labor law are still calling for demonstrations on September 15.