© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Facade of the headquarters of the Bank of France "Banque de France" in Paris
PARIS (Reuters) – The French economy will rebound over the next year as coronavirus restrictions are lifted, albeit not as quickly as previously expected, the central bank forecast on Monday.
After a decline of around 9% this year, the second largest economy in the euro area will see growth of around 5% in 2021 and 2022 before falling to just over 2% in 2023, the Bank of France forecast in its quarterly outlook.
The upswing was pushed back after a second lockdown was imposed in late October following a new outbreak of infection that is gradually coming under control.
Before the second wave, in September the bank had forecast a decline of 8.7% this year and growth of 7.4% in 2021 and 3% in 2022.
The French economy will not return to pre-crisis production levels until mid-2022, while this was expected at the beginning of next year.
Despite the expected recovery, the unemployment rate is expected to rise further to 11% in the first half of 2021 before dropping to 9% by the end of 2023.
Based on the results of its monthly business sentiment survey, the central bank said the economy was 8% below normal in December, which meant production would contract 4% quarter over quarter in the fourth quarter.
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