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US News In December, the French economy far from its pre-crisis level of the coronavirus

12:00  03 december  2020
12:00  03 december  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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L’économie française n’a pas rattrapé son niveau d’avant crise. © Fotolia The French economy has not caught up to its pre-crisis level.

The French economy is expected to remain 8% below its level before the Covid-19 health crisis in December. The horizon is brightening, however, notes INSEE.

The French economy should remain in December still 8% below its level before the health crisis of coronavirus , after a gap of 12% in November, even if "the horizon is clearing" with the gradual lifting of confinement and an expected rebound in consumption, estimated INSEE on Wednesday, December 2.

Refining its forecasts released two weeks ago, the National Institute of Statistics also expects a 4.5% contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter, and “of around 9%” on all of 2020.

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These forecasts are based on compliance with the deconfinement stages announced by the government, with in particular the end of travel restrictions replaced by an curfew , and the reopening of cinemas, theaters and museums in from December 15th.

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A gradual resumption of activity

This gradual lifting of restrictions "would lead to a gradual resumption of activity with, however, disparities between sectors" , underlines INSEE, which notes that this second confinement penalized consumption more than production, companies having managed to adapt to health restrictions.

The reopening of so-called non-essential businesses and the expected rebound in demand with the end of year celebrations should stimulate retail trade and the activity of certain industries (capital goods, clothing, furniture).

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Consumption, which would have fallen to 14% below its pre-crisis level in November, after a difference of -3% in October, is expected in December 6% below its pre-crisis level, according to the Insee.

This rise is believed to be due to the purchases of manufactured goods such as clothing and household equipment, relatively prevented during confinement, as well as to expenses for fuel and transport services, limited however by the continuation of teleworking.

Industry less affected by the second confinement

"While consumption had rebounded strongly from the end of the spring confinement, with a fairly rapid return to a level close to that before the crisis, the rebound would be more gradual in December ”, underlines INSEE.

Other service activities and transport should see their situation improve slightly, with an activity deficit dropping from - 31% to - 23%, while accommodation and catering would not experience any better, with bars and restaurants remaining closed in December.

Industry, less affected by this second lockdown, should see its activity reduced in December to 5% below its pre-crisis level, against 8% in November.

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