In its first report (April 2019) the French National Productivity Board (CNP Conseil national de productivité) “clarifies some questions and clearly establishes that productivity and competitiveness are two different concepts with very different implications, in particular within the context of a monetary union. Productivity gains are the main source of growth in industrialised countries. Understanding the sources of its slowdown over the past twenty years is therefore a fundamental issue. This slowdown constitutes a puzzle which is not completely understood today, and which has given rise to a debate around the concept of "secular stagnation". If the low productivity gains scenario were to become persistent, it would imply a stagnation in purchasing power for most people as well as difficulties in financing the ecological transition and social protection for instance, in a context of growing ageing-related needs.”
Source: France stratégie; Conseil national de productivité 2019 Productivity and competitiveness: where does France stand in the euro zone?