By Damon Mitchell • 07 May 2020 • 13:27
France's economic activity down 33 per cent
THE French economy may have got a slight boost over the last couple of weeks may have got an unexpected boost as France eases out of lockdown, however it still remains a third below normal levels, as reported by the INSEE official statistics agency.
Activity in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy is currently down 33 per cent from normal levels compared with 35 per cent two weeks ago.
As the country’s nationwide lockdown lifts on Monday 11, the industrial and construction sectors are showing signs of a pick-up after sanitary safeguards were put in place to allow workers to return to their jobs.
INSEE has been estimating the economic impact of the lockdown since late March by cross-checking a range of data including electricity use and bank card data.
Last week INSEE said that the economy had plunged in the first quarter into its worst recession since at least 1949, contracting 5.8 per cent from the previous three months.
The French government has rolled out a €110 billion package of crisis measures to see companies through the lockdown and subsidise furloughs to avoid permanent layoffs. Even with massive use of the furlough scheme, the French economy shed 453,800 workers in the first quarter as companies did not renew temporary workers contracts en masse.
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