[France] France Headed For Its Worst Recession Since 1945

16 APR 2020

The widespread lockdown to stem the coronavirus crisis has put France on the brink of its deepest recession since the end of World War II, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned. Stock News Press reports his comments and their context.

M Le Maire was addressing the economic affairs commission of the French Senate when he made the comments. "We will likely be far below -2,2 per cent this year", he said. "It's an indication of the amplitude of the economic shock we're facing." 

The Finance Minister did, however, stress that the matter would be discussed in the autumn while determining the 2021 budget.

France’s nationwide stay-at-home order was imposed from March 17 after all nonessential businesses were closed.

The French economy is now running at two-thirds of normal levels, in March the INSEE official stats agency estimated that each further month of government-imposed confinement could knock 3 percentage points off of growth. (Link via original reporting)

Last month, INSEE - the national statistics bureau - said that the national lockdown had slashed overall economic activity by 35 per cent. Services, heavy industry and construction have all taken big hits and blue-chip companies have abandoned their profitability targets for the year.

In an effort to mitigate the economic fallout of the pandemic, the French government mobilised 45 billion euros (48.63 billion US dollars) to help companies stay afloat. These consisted in large part of tax and payroll charge deferrals