France: Activity stabilizes, forecasts confirmed, says Banque de France

PARIS (Reuters) – Economic activity in France has so far held up well to the surge of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Banque de France said on Tuesday, which therefore confirms its growth forecasts.

In its new update on the French conjuncture, established on the basis of a survey of 8,500 companies, the national central bank estimates that the gross domestic product (GDP) is maintained, in January as in December, 0.75% in- above its pre-crisis level.

It estimates that the GDP should have grown by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, a pace that allows it to confirm its growth forecast of 6.7% for the whole of the past year.

“In addition, the expectations of stabilization of activity in January are compatible with our central projection scenario for 2022”, she adds, that is to say an expected growth of 3.6% for this year.

The fifth wave of COVID-19, which led the government to apply new health restrictions in the face of the surge in the number of cases of contamination, has different consequences according to the sectors, specifies the economic survey.

In January, activity is therefore expected to increase very slightly in industry, stable in construction, well oriented in business services but down markedly in several service activities, such as hotels and restaurants and events. .

(Leigh Thomas report, French version Marc Angrand, edited by Sophie Louet)

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