L'investissement peut-il sauver l'Europe ?

PARIS – La croissance en Europe reste décevante. Pratiquement tous les pays de l'UE devraient connaître une modeste expansion cette année, mais selon les dernières projections du FMI, le taux de croissance moyen de la zone euro ne dépassera guère 1%. Et si l'économie britannique a retrouvé de l'allant, son PIB vient tout juste de dépasser son niveau d'avant-crise. En termes de PIB par tête, l'UE est plus pauvre qu'elle ne l'était il y a sept ans.

Dans ce contexte un nouvel objectif s’est fait jour : promouvoir l'investissement. A la tête de la présidence tournante de l'UE depuis le 1er juillet, le Premier ministre italien, Matteo Renzi, pousse dans ce sens. Jean-Claude Juncker, le futur président de la Commission européenne, en fait sa "première priorité" et entend mobiliser au cours des trois prochaines années 100 milliards d’euros supplémentaires par an (0,75% du PIB) en faveur de l'investissement public et privé.

Indéniablement, l’appel à investir est politiquement séduisant. L’objectif peut rassembler keynésiens et partisans de l'offre, défenseurs des dépenses publiques et avocats des entreprises privées. Des taux d'intérêt à long terme historiquement bas créent en outre un contexte exceptionnellement favorable à la formation de capital.

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