global economy

France economy bounces back in Q3 2020

Agence France-Presse

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France economy bounces back in Q3 2020

People walk on the esplanade during the evening rush hour at the business district of La Defense in France on October 21, 2020. - La Defense, the largest European business district and the fourth largest in the world, had to reshape its activity following the Covid-19 pandemic: work from home, barrier measures and safety guidelines. According to Paris-La Defense association district, 60% of its workers have returned to the office. However, following the lockdown, the generalisation of home working, the partial closure of bars and restaurants and, now, the curfew, the daily life of some 500 companies and 180,000 employees is permanently affected. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)


French gross domestic product expands by 18.2% in July-September 2020 compared with the preceding 3 months

Economic activity in France bounced back strongly in the 3rd quarter following the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown, data showed on Friday, October 30, but the government still expects Europe’s second biggest economy to remain deep in recession for the year as a whole.

French gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 18.2% in the period from July to September compared with the preceding 3 months, the national statistics office Insee calculated in preliminary data.

Nevertheless, economic output was “sharply lower than it had been before the crisis,” with GDP down by 4.3% on a year-on-year basis, the statisticians said. 

And while Insee did not provide a forecast for the 4th quarter, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire insisted that the country would remain mired in recession across the whole of 2020 as it reenters lockdown to try to stem a second wave of virus infections.

The government is projecting economic contraction of 11% for this year, a slight downward revision from an earlier forecast of 10%, Le Maire told France Inter radio shortly after Insee published the 3rd quarter GDP data.

“It’s a moderate revision, simply because we’ve had a very strong 3rd quarter,” he said. “The French economy has considerable capacity to bounce back.” 

The recovery in GDP in the July-September period was driven primarily by a jump of 17.3% in household spending, Insee calculated.

Public spending also increased, investment rebounded sharply, and French exports jumped by 23.3% quarter-on-quarter, the data showed. –

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