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OECD: French GDP to 0.1% in 2013

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Arab Today, arab today OECD: French GDP to 0.1% in 2013

Paris - XINHUA

France\'s real GDP would grow slowly by 0.1 percent in 2013 against the earlier projection of 0.3 percent, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Tuesday in its latest Economic Survey of France.After the assessment, the economic think-tank said growth in France \"is set to remain weak and unemployment to rise further,\" projecting the unemployment rate \"would eventually stabilising at 11 percent at the end of 2013.\"French jobless rate had reached 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, a record-high since the second quarter of 1999 and become the headache and major challenge faced by French President Francois Hollande, who had vowed to tackle the issue as one of the highest priorities in his campaign promises.\"France faces serious longterm challenges,\" the OECD warned in its country survey which was published in Paris by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and French Minister of Economy and Finance Pierre Moscovici.\"The French economy has tremendous assets and considerable potential, but excessive regulation and high levels of taxation are gradually eroding its competitiveness,\" Gurria said.The study showed that France\'s growth of per capita GDP has been among the lowest in the 34-member OECD area in the last 20 years, and firms\' poor competitiveness has risen to the top of the policy agenda.The OECD urged France to do more to boost competitiveness and create jobs.Reductions in public spending are required to rein in the budget deficit and allow for lower taxes on labour and business income, a key element in future competitiveness plans, the OECD proposed.Labor market reforms, including a new definition of economic dismissal, simplified layoff procedures, and more effective occupational training and job search assistance, are needed to boost job creation, it added.Greater competition in services and rationalisation of housing policies will be crucial to raise purchasing power, create jobs and enhance competitiveness, the OECD suggested.Fiscal consolidation remains a priority, according to the OECD, efforts to reduce the structural deficit must continue as planned. Public spending is very high as a percentage of GDP and needs to be reduced.The survey showed that tax and transfer system reforms are essential and reforms to unemployment benefits would save costs and promote employment.The OECD also called for wide-ranging actions taken to help French young people out with difficulties. To reform education system and redistribute resources in education are all help measures to benefit young generation.

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