CES 2021 - Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 7+ 2-in-1 PC and the deployment of its 85 ″ Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft is unveiling the Surface Pro 7+, a 2-in-1 laptop PC for business and education, which benefits from some improvements over version 7. The Surface Hub 2S digital board will ship in February. Rumors are rife that a Surface Pro 8 will be released soon. To be patient and to satisfy professionals, Microsoft unveils its Surface Pro 7+, a revised version of the Surface Pro 7 promised as more efficient.    Among the major evolutions of this new model, we note first of all the passage of the Intel Core processors from the 10th to the 11th generation. Storage will still be capped at 1TB, but a maximum of 32GB of RAM can now be installed, down from just 16GB previously. The SSD will also be removable and a Full HD webcam integrated into the Surface.  4G is now supported with a SIM card slot and eSIM support. Plus, battery life gets a big boost, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm - on paper anyway - with a fast charge to 80% in an hour. The Surface 7 Pro +

Public finances: five dizzying figures that show the scale of the crisis

The government presented on Wednesday a new amending finance bill for 2020 building on a historic recession, with a contraction of 8% of GDP this year, a public deficit of 9% and a public debt of 115%.
Public finances: five dizzying figures that show the scale of the crisis

Deficit, debt, spending ... public finances will be severely tested this year. Faced with the recession, the government announced measures to support businesses and employees in an attempt to limit economic and social disruption. This first range of devices has been enriched with new measures in recent days to deal with a long-term crisis. The stability program presented Wednesday April 16 in the Council of Ministers and which should be sent in a few days to the European institutions reflects the efforts to try to overcome the impact of containment. The violent and brutal downturn in the economy should require the implementation of a recovery plan yet to be defined. This means that the figures presented in the document could be greatly revised upwards. Current spending is mainly used to offset the losses caused by the crisis by placing the State as an insurer. The recovery will force the government to implement a complex stimulus strategy with choices to make. At the end of the council, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was pessimistic.
"The unprecedented health crisis against which we are all fighting together requires responses that are equal to the shock we are experiencing. This shock is brutal for the French. the hospital system, brutal given the impact on our economy that this confinement will have and the slowdown or even the complete cessation of all the productive systems of neighboring countries. Faced with such a shock, we must face up, and we let's face it. "

110 billion euros

"On the budgetary level, while we presented an exceptional envelope of 45 billion euros in mid-March in support of the economy and the health system, we brought the emergency plan to a total of 110 billion euros, "said the head of government. The government's strategy aims to support economic agents at a time when they are experiencing a decline in historical activity. Thus, this arsenal includes deferrals of tax and social claims, the implementation of partial unemployment, loans guaranteed by the State and a support fund for the self-employed. Of all this 110 billion, a large part, or 42 billion euros, corresponds to budgetary expenditure.

-9% public deficit

The increase in expenditure by all public administrations would contribute to plunging the public deficit by 9% in 2020. Most of the deterioration would be linked to the impact of the economic situation (5.3 points). One-off and temporary measures would only partially contribute to the deterioration of the public finance balance. The structural balance is estimated at -2% of GDP.

There are still a lot of uncertainties at this stage, especially on the scenarios for ending the crisis even if the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron said last Monday that the confinement would continue at least until May 11. "This assessment of the structural deficit has a very limited meaning, it is based on the assessment of potential GDP for 2020 included in the programming law published in January 2018: this could be revised downwards in the future, taking into account the "the magnitude of this year's economic shock and the potentially lasting consequences it can have on the production capacity of the French economy", rightly recalls the opinion of the High Council of Public Finance (HCFP).

115% of general government debt

According to the second amending finance bill (PLFR), the debt ratio of all public administrations should be 115% of GDP. Again, many unknowns remain. Given the risks to growth and the public balance, the mountain of debt could further increase. At this stage, it is still difficult to assess the level of risk. Interest charges on French debt remain relatively low and France's capacity to borrow on the markets remains favorable.

The risk is that after the crisis, the very rapid return of European budgetary rules will lead to a brutal readjustment of public finances. This could once again weigh heavily on activity as in 2011-2012. Here again, fears of austerity were expressed by several economists. During a hearing before the finance committee of the national assembly Wednesday April 15, Bruno Le Maire clearly recalled the line of the government. "Between debt and corporate bankruptcies, we made the choice of debt. It is not a sustainable choice and we know perfectly well that it will be necessary to restore public finances in the long term." In addition, many questions remain about the financing of this debt. The government has said repeatedly that it will not raise taxes. However, he could find himself facing a real headache.

24 billion euros in partial unemployment

The shutdown of whole swathes of the economy and the closure of a large number of catering establishments, breweries, bars has forced many employers to register their workers as part-time workers. According to a recent count released by the Ministry of Labor, more than 8.7 million workers were affected by partial unemployment claims made by 732,000 companies. Again, the amounts announced by the government have swelled from 8.5 billion euros in the first PLFR to 24 billion in that presented this week. This envelope could increase further with the extension of the confinement until May 11 and the prolonged shutdown of many companies.

- 8% growth, an optimistic forecast for the HCFP

The macroeconomic forecasts presented in the budget document by the government seem optimistic in the eyes of the magistrates of the High Council of Public Finances. "The High Council notes that this economic scenario is based on the strong assumption of a fairly rapid return to normal of activity, beyond May 11. It assumes in particular that the economic policy measures taken to deal with to the crisis will help preserve the productive system and that demand, both domestic and foreign, will not have lasting consequences of the crisis. Overall, the High Council notes that, if this strong hypothesis were not realized, the fall in activity could turn out to be even higher than that of -8% in 2020 predicted by the government "explain the authors of the opinion.

Here again, the scenario for emerging from the crisis is subject to numerous national and international uncertainties. The prospect of a vigorous V-shaped recovery seems less and less credible for many economists. In China, economic activity is far from having returned to a pre-crisis level and many parameters could shake up the rebound in activity. The disorganization of production chains could, for example, cause many delays in the productive apparatus and the deconfinement strategies in each of the countries will depend on the human balance sheet and the capacities of each economy to respond to supply and demand shocks. Fears of a second wave of epidemics are increasing as states often set an example in Asia have had to take further restrictive measures.