Coronavirus restrictions drag French economy back into a slump

The French economy is back in a slump and likely to shrink this quarter amid fresh restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

IHS Markit’s monthly index of private-sector activity dropped to 39.9 in November from 47.5 in October, a third straight month below the key 50 level. The decline was led by services, reflecting the closure of bars and restaurants and the loss of business in the hospitality sector.

The latest curbs aren’t as severe as those implemented during the first wave of the pandemic, when a complete halt to activity sent Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index plunging to a record-low reading of 11.1.

Still, economists have revised down their forecasts and expect France’s economy to shrink 3.5% this quarter. With partial lockdowns also in place in other countries, the euro-area economy is projected to contract 1.7%.




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