“Despite the continuation and strengthening of the curfew”, activity in France stabilized in January at 5% below its pre-crisis level, according to the Banque de France.
Activity in France stabilized in January at 5% below its pre-crisis level, “despite the continuation and strengthening of the curfew“, According to a note on the economic situation published Tuesday by the Banque de France. The governor of the French central bank, François Villeroy de Galhau, also confirmed a growth forecast of 5% for 2021, in an interview with the newspapers of the Ebra group.
For its part, INSEE ruled last week that the government’s target of 6% growth in French gross domestic product in 2021 remained attainable. The Banque de France revised the level of activity for November and December upward on Tuesday, respectively to 7% (against 11% estimated on January 13) and 5% (against 7%), following the publication of the quarterly national accounts of INSEE, better than expected for the fourth quarter. “This resilience is both a good surprise at the end of 2020, and reassurance for 2021», According to Mr. Villeroy de Galhau.
“Strong heterogeneity” in services
Activity in February would be comparable to that of January, still 5% below the pre-crisis level, further estimates the economic report. If this trend were to continue in March as well, it would mean zero growth in the first quarter. “But we saw it last summer and then in December: as soon as restrictions were lifted, the return of consumers and their confidence was spectacular.», Assures the governor of the Bank of France. In industry, the use of production capacities was 74% in January, against 79% before the crisis, according to the survey carried out by the institution from January 27 to February 3 among 8,500 companies.
In services, it unsurprisingly shows a “strong heterogeneity between sectors”With a low level of activity in the hotel and restaurant industry, hit hard by the health restrictions put in place to fight the Covid-19 epidemic. Conversely, “business services are well oriented, especially advertising and management consulting, as well as equipment and car rental“. And in the building, “activity was generally stable in January and remained close to its pre-crisis level“, Still according to the central bank.
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