Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Le stimulus

The New York Times has a short piece about economic stimulus efforts in France. A few facts from the article worth noting:
  • U.S. unemployment: 9.5 percent
  • France unemployment: 8.9 percent
  • Size of U.S. stimulus package: $787 billion ($2,589 per capita)
  • Size of French stimulus package: $37 billion ($602 per capita)


Ben said...

So, if you compare unemployment rates from July 2008 to today, the comparison between the United States and France looks even worse. But, if you accept the common definition of recession (two consecutive quarters of negative change in GDP) then the US has been in a recession since December of 2007, and France isn't actually in a recession.



Colin said...

Well, according to France's official statistics agency the country entered a recession in Q4 of last year:


Further, I will note that the two quarter definition is actually only a rule of thumb. The official definition, used by the National Bureau of Economic Research is "a significant decline in [the] economic activity spread across the country, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP growth, real personal income, employment (non-farm payrolls), industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales."

But yes, plainly the US is further along in its recession than France is in theirs. Where both country's unemployment rates will ultimately end up is anyone's guess.