- Why investors should care about French “yellow vests” protest
Why investors should care about French “yellow vests” protest
Wednesday 12 December 2018
Research / Market
The Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests)
The Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) are a largely spontaneous protest movement that emerged in France, in October. With no declared political affiliation, they called for lower taxes and a higher level of social transfers and public services.
The protests, in our view, will have a modest negative economic impact on growth, as a consequence of two opposite effects: a fiscal stimulus (with an impact on public deficit) and damage to business and investor confidence. We have just reduced our forecast on French real GDP growth from 1.5% to 1.4% for next year, while the deficit, depending on the measures, could be higher than 3%, before declining in 2020.
We believe the protests will de-escalate but their consequence is that the French government may refrain from pushing further forward reforms in France, and may be in a weaker position to drive reforms at the European level.
On the French Equity market, the possible boost in purchasing power could support the consumer sector, which was the hardest hit during the recent protests.
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