PARIS: France’s economy could shrink again in the final three months of this year as a result of the widespread curfews imposed by the government to rein in a second wave of the coronavirus, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned on Friday.
“In the fourth quarter, we risk seeing a negative growth rate,” Le Maire told Europe 1 radio, reports AFP.“But in the same way, I can say that the French economy will see a strong rebound in 2021” and that growth will return to 2019 levels in 2022, the minister said.
The renewed contraction, coming after many leading economies were pushed into unprecedented recessions by the worldwide lockdowns earlier in the pandemic, “is no surprise,” Le Maire said.
The risk of negative growth at the year-end had been factored into the government’s overall forecast for a contraction in gross domestic product for the whole of 2020, he explained.
“We knew that the pandemic could start-up again and because there is a lot of international uncertainty,” the minister said.