As France heads into its third nationwide lockdown, its finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has cautioned that the economy is likely to get affected by this move, but that it was too early for estimates. President Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of schools and a lockdown across the country earlier this week in the wake of the third wave of the pandemic.
Le Maire shared his comments while speaking at CNews television, adding, “These measures will impact economic growth in 2021. We are in the process of assessing it. There will be a new evaluation in the coming days.”
Earlier this year, the French government had forecast a GDP of 6% for the current year, estimating a rebound in its economy once the pandemic comes under control, powered by the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. However, the latest round of lockdown is expected to shut down 150k businesses across the country for the next few weeks, causing a loss of around 11 billion euros per month.
The central bank’s governor, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, however, sounds less pessimistic about the economic outlook, maintaining that the Bank of France still expects the GDP to touch 5.5% this year, as per previous estimates. However, this estimate is subject to the lockdown measures and restrictions being eased in about a month from now.