Covid-19 pandemic pushed French economy into worst recession since World War II – report

Coronavirus-related economic and social restrictions led to a “historic” drop of 8.2 percent in French GDP in 2020, data by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) shows.

Previously, the institute assumed that the decline would be 8.3 percent.

It said in a report, issued on Friday, that “On average in 2020, the economic activity unprecedentedly fell, by −8.2 percent after +1.5 percent in 2019.” 

According to the report, in the fourth quarter of last year, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 1.4 percent, while preliminary data indicated a decline of 1.3 percent. 

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“In Q4, during which the second national lockdown and curfews were enforced, GDP stood 4.9 percent below its level in Q4 2019 (year-on-year evolution). Its year-on-year decline was moderate when compared to the drop in Q2, when the first lockdown occurred (–18.6 percent year-on-year),” INSEE said.

The French economy grew 1.5 percent in 2019, putting it among the best performers in Europe. However, the downturn last year marks its worst recession since World War II.

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