- France reported a nearly 14% decline in production, a third consecutive quarterly slowdown in the economy and the worst three-month decline in history, according to data released on Friday.
- Although the situation was expected to worsen as economists forecast a 15.2% decline, second-quarter figures reflect the painful economic conditions in which the COVID-19 outbreak left France.
- France's "negative developments in the first half of 2020 are related to the cessation of" non-essential "activities related to the implementation of the block between mid-March and early May," the country's statistics agency said.
- In other parts of Europe, Germany saw a sharp 10% drop in GDP over the same period, while Spain shrank by a historic 18.5%.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
The French economy posted its worst quarterly decline in history, shrinking 13.8% in the second quarter of 2020. Data released shown by the country's national statistical office on Friday.
This was the third consecutive decline for France. Production decreased 19% year over year, showing how badly the pandemic struck one of the largest powers in Europe.
The economic downturn in France is surprisingly not as bad as the economists' forecast of a 15.2% decline, but it is still the sharpest decline since records began over 70 years ago.
The deteriorating condition is "associated with the cessation of" non-essential "activities related to the implementation of the closure between mid-March and early May," said a statement from the statistical agency INSEE.
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Although there was a gradual recovery in May and June, GDP fell sharply in the quarter, with overall production, trade, investment and consumption falling.
French exports suffered a stronger decline than imports by 25.5% and 17.3%, respectively.
In June, INSEE predicted A 17% decrease for the second quarter in France, revising the estimates of a previous forecast of 20%.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire lowered the government's annual GDP forecast from -8% to -11% after realizing that the overall picture may have deteriorated.
However, given the large number of revisions to the estimates, the annual forecast may also tend to undergo further revaluations.
Although the second quarter numbers weren't as bad as expected, Le Maire was tweeted These efforts must be redoubled in order to revive economic activity in France.
This month, the European Union launched a $ 860 billion rehabilitation fund aimed at rebuilding the economic bloc after a compromise with the so-called "frugal four" nations.
Strong data from the eurozone shows that economic pain is likely to persist for a while and recovery to the pre-virus level appears to be a difficult task.
Germany, Europe's largest economy, contracted by 10% in the second quarter – the worst decline since records started in 1970. Spain too recorded a historic decline in GDP – of 18.5% – for the same period.
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