The economic recovery plans
Economic recovery plans make up a important part of the wide-ranging package of measures that economic policy-makers worldwide have taken in response to the financial and economic crisis. More specifically, the EU Member States have either approved or announced fiscal measures to boost economic growth amounting to a total of 1.1 p.c. of GDP in 2009 and 0.7 p.c. of GDP in 2010 for the EU as a whole. In the United States, the cumulative budgetary cost of the recovery measures over 2009 and 2010 should reach 5.4 p.c. of GDP. However, fiscal support for economic activity through the automatic stabilisers is greater in the EU than in the US. A comparison of policy responses, as regards both the scope and composition of the recovery plans, shows that there are significant divergences amongst the EU Member States themselves. Differences in terms of the extent of the recovery plans are in accordance with the European economic recovery plan’s call for account to be taken of differences in initial budgetary positions when drafting the national plans. Moreover, the European recovery plans consist of a wide range of measures, which, on the whole, are quite evenly distributed over the revenue and expenditure sides of the equation. The growth-supporting measures may be able to ease the recession in the short term, but the impact they will have is uncertain and possibly even fairly limited. An optimum effect of the recovery plans on economic growth in the short term would only really be reached if a number of preconditions are met first. So it is clear that the growth-stimulating measures need to be timely, temporary and targeted, conditions that are not always met. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the measures taken is to a large extent determined by the reactions from private economic agents. In this respect, an essential precondition is for there to be no doubt about the sustainability of government finances over the long run. However, combined with the already weak budget positions that some countries had to start with, the economic recovery plans and the effect that the recession has on the budget situation via the relatively large automatic stabilisers have seriously affected the state of public finances in many countries.
Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): iii (September)
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