Futuribles Journal n° 415

Économie, emploi

Are We Seeing the Last of Economic Growth?


Whereas global economic growth was relatively high and constant between 1945 and 2007, the period since the 2007 crisis has been one of uncertainty, mainly in the developed countries, but also (to a lesser extent) in the emerging economies. Is this slowdown a lasting phenomenon? And might growth eventually disappear altogether? This is one of the possible trends envisaged by Charles du Granrut. He explains, for example, the reasons why the prospects for mid-to-long-term economic growth are, on the face of it, poor — namely, low rates of increase in the working-age population, combined with low productivity growth caused, as some see it, by decelerating technical progress. Moreover, the global financial situation, characterized by a disconnect between savings and investment flows and by highly flexible monetary policies (with very low interest rates), remains very fragile. In this context, du Granrut argues, it has become a priority to dispel uncertainties and free up the economy, particularly through structural policies (linked, in particular, to environmental constraints and with regard for developments within the labour market) and by reviewing modes of economic cooperation on a global scale. It isn’t certain this will be enough to curb the slowdown in growth, but it would be a first step towards redressing current imbalances.

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