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Financial News: France Economic Activity Improves Marginally

France Economic Activity Improves Marginally

05/12/2020 - 05:33:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - French economic activity improved only marginally in April and overall performance is set to remain below normal after the government started easing the curbs imposed to avoid the spread of coronavirus, or Covid-19, survey data from Bank of France showed Tuesday.

The economy is operating about 27 percent below normal levels in April compared to 32 percent in March.

"The ambition we could have for the end of May is to recover another 10 points," Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy said on France Inter radio.

The governor said the two months of lockdown has cost the second largest euro area nation around 6 percent in annual growth.

Industrial production declined across the board as the lockdown was effective throughout the month, the survey showed. Agri-food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals were the least affected sectors in April.

Business leaders expect a partial recovery in May.

At the same time, the service sector reported a marked decrease in activity in April. Leaders see a nascent recovery with differences across sectors.

In construction, activity continued to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but to a lesser extent than in March. However, construction activity is forecast to rebound significantly but this will not offset the losses incurred.

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