The French economy: change and continuity from 1959 to 2006
Before the oil crisis of 1974, France experienced strong and sustained growth on the back of dynamic household consumption and business investment. Since then, growth in the French economy has been both weaker and more volatile. Since the start of the 1990s, business' share of value added income has stabilised at a level below that of the 1960s. It had remained constant until the middle of the 1970s, then went up until the middle of the 1980s, before coming back down. Variation in purchasing power, which has been less strong since the middle of the 1970s, has pushed household consumption down. The rate of business investment has gone down since the start of the 1960s, even though profit margins have been on the up. Despite the rise in the overall tax burden, public sector net borrowing increased overall from the beginning of the 1960s to the middle of the 1990s.