Public debt: “There is no sustainability problem”, assures Anne-Sophie Alsif

As 2020 comes to an end, what state is the French economy in after two lockdowns, introduced to fight against the coronavirus epidemic? “This year, we will be in a recession, and it will be strong, at the level of 10%, with normally a rebound in 2021, estimated at 6%”, details Anne-Sophie Alsif, chief economist at the Bureau of Economic Information and Forecasts (BIPE), guest of the “4 Vérités” de France, Wednesday, December 30.

Despite this anticipated rebound, the economist confirms it however, “the first confinement was particularly dramatic, with consequences amounting to more than a 30% decline in activity”. The repercussions of the second confinement, meanwhile, are less, with -15%. “Above all, what is much more difficult to assess is household confidence. After confinement, we have seen a strong rebound, the French have consumed, but since the start of the school year, we have been in an alternation of confinement and deconfinement , which affects the confidence of the French, and therefore the consumption capacities “, emphasizes Anne-Sophie Alsif.

In this context, how long can the economic crisis last, when most companies manage to stay afloat thanks to the aid measures put in place by the government? “The question arises, because it is not possible to remain on the state’s drip in the medium or long term. 2021 will see the end of a number of measures to help households and businesses”, explains Anne-Sophie Alsif.

Asked about the management of the public debt, hollowed out by these support measures, the economist first recalls that this debt is “not cancellable”, but specifies: “The problem is that we are now living in deficit. We have taken 20 points of GDP since the start of the crisis. The French state needs to raise money on the financial markets to continue operating The good news is that interest rates are excessively low, so there is no sustainability issue. “

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