Apr 4, 2021 - World

France cuts economic growth forecast as it enters third COVID lockdown

A person walking in front of the eiffel tower with a mask on.
Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images)

France is cutting it's GDP growth forecast to 5% from 6% as the country enters a four-week national lockdown aimed at slowing a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The lockdown, France's third since the start of the pandemic, comes amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases across much of Europe that has seen some countries reimpose restrictions.

Between the lines: French President Emmanuel Macron had been hesitant to impose new restrictions following an 8.1% GDP contraction last year, per Bloomberg, but the country has seen more contagious variants of the virus have spread. Meanwhile, its vaccine rollout has been underwhelming.

  • Beginning Saturday, people in France were restricted to traveling within six miles of their home, except for essential reasons. The nation has also imposed a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, per the Guardian.

What he's saying: “Closing education establishments and 150,000 stores is essential to slow the spread of the virus, but these measures will have an impact on the French economy,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

  • “This estimate is both sincere and cautious.”
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