PARIS (Reuters) – The French economic recovery may slow in the fourth quarter due to a rise in new cases of coronavirus, which is affecting business activity, statistics agency INSEE said Tuesday, downgrading its forecast.
Growth in the eurozone's second-largest economy in the fourth quarter is expected to be zero compared to the previous quarter. Last month, INSEE expected the economy to grow 1% in the last three months of this year.
Despite the forecast downgrade, INSEE said it still expects the country's economy to contract by 9% in 2020, with GDP growth in the third quarter of 16%, compared with September expectations of 17%.
France has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks to record highs.
INSEE also expects a jump in unemployment in the second half of this year. The unemployment rate is projected to reach 9.7% by the end of the year.
(Matthew Protard. Translated by Olga Beskrovnova. Editor Dmitry Antonov)