Bank of France sees milder hit from 2nd lockdown

FRANCE'S economy will take a smaller hit from the new lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 than it did during the tighter restrictions on activity earlier this year, according to the country's central bank.

Business leaders in industry and construction expect a much milder decline in activity because they face fewer limits on operations and new health protocols allow more employees to continue, a survey by the Bank of France showed.

But the French economy is in a highly uncertain phase as the government could revise restrictions or even extend the lockdown, depending on the evolution of the pandemic. There's been little sign of respite, with a record increase in confirmed infections at the end of last week and some intensive care units nearing capacity with Covid-19 patients.


The Bank of France estimates that activity in November during the lockdown will be 12 per cent below the pre-crisis normal level. While that's far less than the 31 per cent figure in April, the impact could still be enough to mean that the economy shrinks again this quarter.




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