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French central bank sees recovery taking longer

Agence France-Presse

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French central bank sees recovery taking longer

ANOTHER LOCKDOWN. A man walks past a boarded restaurant with the writing 'COVID 19-84' referring to George Orwell's book '1984,' as France is on a second lockdown, December 10, 2020.

Photo by Joel Saget/AFP

The Banque de France now sees economic output falling by 9% in 2020, with a rebound of 5% in 2021

The French central bank said on Monday, December 14, that it expects the country’s economy to recover more slowly than previously and return to its pre-pandemic level only in mid-2022.

The forecast is based on the COVID-19 pandemic not dying down immediately and widespread vaccination not being achieved before the end of 2021.

The Banque de France now sees economic output falling by 9% this year, with a rebound of 5% in 2021.

Three months ago, the bank forecast a drop in gross domestic product this year of 8.7% followed by 7.4% growth next year.

Since then, France has been swept by a second wave of the novel coronavirus that prompted authorities to reintroduce restrictions on movement and the closure of certain businesses.

That provoked an 11% drop in activity in November from the same month last year, with activity expected to be 8% lower in December given the partial relaxation of confinement measures adopted by the government for the holiday period.

The central bank sees France’s economy continuing to grow at a 5% rate in 2022 and then slow to a rate above 2% in 2023.

Despite the foreseen recovery in the economy, the Banque de France expects unemployment to jump higher as firms which have so far held on finally collapse.

It expects unemployment to jump to 11% during the 1st quarter of 2021, and fall to 9% by the end of 2022.

France’s unemployment rate was around 8%, using international survey methods, before the pandemic hit Europe at the end of the 1st quarter. –

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