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French Government Downgrades 2020 GDP Forecast to 11% Contraction

10/30/2020 | 03:36am EST

By Maria Martinez

The French government has downwardly revised its gross domestic product forecast for 2020, with the aim of taking into account the impact of the latest coronavirus-related restrictions.

The eurozone's second-largest economy is expected to contract 11% this year, the economy minister Bruno Le Maire said Friday in an interview with radio station France Inter. The previous forecast of the French government was for a 10% contraction.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced tough restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic. A national lockdown, beginning Friday and lasting at least one month, will require people to remain inside their homes while restaurants, bars and shops deemed nonessential will close.

"We will have a challenging fourth quarter because we will be confined," Mr. Le Maire said.

However, the revision of the 2020 forecast has been "moderate" thanks to the "strong rebound" of the economy in the third quarter, the minister said.

The French economy grew 18.2% during the third quarter following a 13.7% decline in the second quarter, French statistics agency Insee said Friday in a first estimate for the period.

Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-30-20 0435ET

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