France: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2019 Article IV Mission-continued

June 3, 2019--France's growth has slowed but remains resilient and job rich, in part reflecting important labor-market and tax reforms implemented in recent years. But external risks have risen, and France's structural challenges persist: high public and private debt, still high structural unemployment, sluggish productivity growth, and inequality of opportunity.
Building on the government's agenda, reforms must continue to address these long-term challenges and bolster resilience to shocks.

Social consensus around reform priorities is essential to ensure their success, for the benefit of all citizens and future generations. Key reform areas are as follows:

Safeguarding fiscal sustainability and bolstering public-sector efficiency: If completed and ambitiously implemented, planned civil-service, pensions, and unemployment-benefit reforms should bolster equity, incentivize work, and generate efficiency savings. Additional spending reforms are needed to ensure that the ongoing tax-burden reduction can be sustained and public debt placed on a firm downward path.

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Source: IMF

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