‘France’s new economic indicators but too fragile to overturn recession’

France’s economic indicators in July are satisfactory but too fragile to revise up this year’s growth estimated at minus 11 percent due to the severe impact of anti-coronavirus lockdown, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

Earlier in the day, national statistics institute INSEE noted in its report that “in July 2020, the business climate has continued its recovery started in May”, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

The business climate composite indicator, compiled from the answers of business managers in the main market sectors (manufacturing, services, construction, wholesale and retail), was at 85 in July, higher than 78 recorded a month earlier.

Also in July, the employment climate has continued to recover sharply from the April low. At 77, it has gained 10 points compared with June, according to INSEE monthly data.

“These good results are satisfactory but they remain nevertheless too fragile to revise our growth forecasts for the moment,” Le Maire told the National Assembly.

To help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the population and growth, the government has decided on a range of measures that include state-guaranteed loans, tax relief and specific support plans to worst-hit sectors such as tourism, aeronautic and auto industry.

“If we accelerate the implementation of the measures that we have already decided, if we ensure the proper execution of these measures, we can have a better figure than minus 11 percent,” the minister added.

Le Maire expected the country’s GDP to increase by 8 percent next year, noting that “the growth rebound expected in 2021 will depend on the actual extent of the recession in 2020.”

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