Old man on bike Jarod Carruthers/Flickr

De petits pas pour la croissance en Europe

PARIS – Fin mai, lors de son forum annuel à Sintra au Portugal, la Banque centrale européenne n'a choisi pour thème ni la déflation, ni l’assouplissement quantitatif, ni la stabilité financière, mais le chômage, la productivité et les réformes en faveur de la croissance. Le président de la BCE, Mario Draghi, a expliqué pourquoi dans son discours d'ouverture : la zone euro manque à la fois de dynamisme et de résilience face aux chocs.

Il a entièrement raison. La Commission européenne prévoit actuellement une croissance de 1,5% pour la zone euro cette année, et de 1,9% l'année prochaine. C'est bien entendu mieux que la semi-stagnation des années passées. Mais compte tenu de la combinaison d'un soutien monétaire massif, d'une orientation budgétaire désormais neutre, de la chute du prix du pétrole et de la dépréciation de l'euro, c'est le minimum auquel on pouvait s'attendre. Et pour l’ensemble de la zone, cela ne ramènerait le PIB/habitant qu'à son niveau de 2008. Le fait que les oracles se félicitent d'une aussi petite amélioration montre combien nos ambitions se sont rabougries.

Jusqu'il y a peu, on pouvait pointer du doigt l'austérité et la crise de l'euro comme causes de la faiblesse de l'économie ; ce n’est plus le cas maintenant (contrairement à ce qui se répète, la zone euro ne vit plus sous le régime de l’austérité). Et même si on ne peut exclure que la réalité dépasse les prévisions de la Commission, le faible potentiel de croissance de la zone euro demeure préoccupant.

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