Strong growth forecast for 2021: can we relax?
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is predicting 5.6 percent global growth for this year. The main drivers are China with 7.8 and the US with 6.5 percent, but the Eurozone is also on trend with an expected plus of 3.9 percent. However, this is still not enough to allay the concerns of the commentators.
Biden is getting it right
Europe's governments shouldn't rely solely on the money consumers have saved, Handelsblatt warns:
“Since the proportion of disposable income spent on consumption decreases as income increases, the priority now is to stabilise the incomes of economically weaker households. Biden's direct financial aid is therefore rightly aimed first and foremost at the middle class, who have been hit hardest by the economic effects of the pandemic because they have to spend a large part of their disposable income on consumption. In Europe and Germany, people have so far preferred to rely on short-time work benefits and tax breaks. This is a mistake.”
Cash helps, not tax cuts
Népszava also says that Biden's stimulus programme takes the right approach:
“Child benefit was recently introduced in the US, albeit under a different name. 95 percent of US children will receive 300 dollars a month until they're five years old, after which they'll get 250 dollars until they're seventeen. For the time being this measure is valid for one year, but it will probably be extended, and this could massively reduce child poverty. Because this financial support is not being given in the form of tax cuts which do nothing for the poorest, as is usually the case, but in the form of monthly checks.”
Sales more effective than loans
Le Figaro publishes the appeal put out by a group of small and medium-sized companies:
“Public aid for businesses is absolutely indispensable in view of the unprecedented economic crisis we are going through. It is not, however, a solution in the medium term. The best, if not the only way to support businesses is not by putting them on a ventilator. Helping our small and medium-sized businesses means helping them get back to work. We don't need state-guaranteed loans, we need sales. Full order books. Visibility. ... Hence we appeal to the sense of responsibility of every public and private actor and ask them to place their orders in France, with French companies.”
Pensioners must also do their bit
Author Denis Lafay calls on pensioners to show solidarity. He writes:
“They are the ones who benefit from the ruinous economic, financial and social measures. The lives of the younger generation - and with them their relationships, friendships, studies and careers - are being sacrificed for their sake. Their direct income is spared from the crisis. ... Social cohesion is at risk. Perhaps it's time for pensioners to make their contribution to intergenerational solidarity, which until now has only worked in one direction. ... Of course, the elderly aren't responsible for the outbreak of the pandemic. And nobody should be stigmatised. But they now have the opportunity - and thus the responsibility - to help ease the situation.”