CORONAVIRUS: Short-time working in France will cost French Economy €24 billion – is a recession inevitable?

FRENCH Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said the French economy is expected to drop by 8 per cent of GDP this year, reflecting the impact of an extended coronavirus lockdown, is a recession inevitable?

Le Maire had previously targeted a 6 per cent GDP decline for this year but that was based on a lockdown that lasted just one month, instead of the two-month period announced by President Emmanuel Macron in a televised address on Monday night.

He added that the cost of short-time working in France, which currently concerns eight million employees, will cost €24 billion, given the uncertain outlook for economies across the globe, not least in the United States and Asia, “these forecasts need to be considered with caution,” he warned.

Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said:

The massive relief effort for bars, restaurants, hotel, shops and other businesses closed during the lockdown will push France’s budget deficit up to 9 per cent of GDP this year.

“Each day, each week of confinement is worsening our public finances,” he said, adding that France’s debt pile would soar to 115 per cent of GDP, up from just under 100 per cent last year.

Tourism in France

Tourism in France directly contributed €79.8 billion to gross domestic product, 30 per cent of which comes from international visitors and 70 per cent from domestic tourism spending. The total contribution of travel and tourism represents 9.7 per cent of GDP and supports 2.9 million jobs (10.9 per cent of employment) in the country.

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Tony Winterburn

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