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AROUND THE BRANCHES – French Economic Growth Predicted to Slow

The latest quarterly economic outlook from the country’s central bank, which has its headquarters in Paris, expects that growth will slow from 1.3% this year to 1.1% next year; only last summer it predicted that growth would continue at 1.3%.

With an eye on the more distant future, Banque de France, predicts that the economy will rally in 2021 and 2022, with growth of 1.3% predicted for both years. However, this is lower than the 1.4% which it originally predicted for 2021.

The predictions for next year chime with those of the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in so far as they have been downgraded; however they are less optimistic than his growth forecast, which he recently downgraded from 1.4% to 1.3%.

More strikes, more economic pain?

President Emmanuel Macron is continuing to push ahead with an ambitious economic agenda despite considerable hostility from “yellow vests”.

Pension reform has been the protesters’ latest target, with union leaders calling for an open-ended strike and protesters taking to the streets in a show of force.

Yet Macron remains steadfast. “We are rebuilding a universal pension system, much fairer and accountable,” he said in an AP report*.

“I have an ambitious project for the country”, he said. “And I won’t give up. Because I deeply believe that France is a great country which can face the challenges of the 21st century.”*

Financial advice for expats in France

As an expat in France you will have unique cross-border circumstances that are likely to affect your pension planning. For example, you may wish to convert your UK pension to a QROPS or SIPP.

Whether you are looking into this or are considering the possibility of an assurance-vie, we can offer specialist and personalised advice to help you make a decision that is in your best interests.

We can help you make sense of all your wealth management options so that you can have confidence that your money will continue to work for you, both now and in the future, when you reach retirement.

Disclaimer: The provision of information in this communication is not based on your individual circumstances and does not constitute investment advice. Blacktower makes no recommendation as to the suitability of any of the products or transactions mentioned.

* https://apnews.com/f3fa07de7ab78c9f507bb5ac48db73e6 Accessed 18-12-19

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From the extremely eventful year for stock markets to the US Election, I think it would be helpful to have a look at what happened throughout the year, as we finally turn the page and face 2021 with renewed hope.

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Spanish Tax Office’s Gibraltar crackdown

50 Euro NoteSpanish newspaper ABC has reported that tax authorities in the country are cracking down on expats who fraudulently claim Gibraltar residency for the purposes of wealth management.

Apparently the measures have already led to the collection of €20 million from 160 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) claiming residency in Gibraltar when in fact they lived in nearby Andalucía. This meant that, on average, €125,000 was collected from each HNWI.

Jorge Ramírez, a representative of the Tax Agency in Andalucía, told the newspaper, “A tracking system was used to collect verifiable documentary evidence, and we found some Gibraltarians whose primary financial interests were actually entirely situated in Spain.”

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