‘Dramatic rebound’ erases France’s economic crisis: Country sees highest growth in 52 years, World News
France’s economy grew at its fastest pace since 1969 last year, official data showed on Friday, benefiting from a strong rebound in coronavirus lockdowns fueled in part by massive government support.
At 7.0%, according to the statistics institute Insee, growth in 2021 exceeded the forecasts of economists and official bodies.
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After falling 7.9% in 2020, French production for the whole year remained below 2019 levels – the last year before the coronavirus crisis.
But gross domestic product topped the last quarter of 2019 in October-December 2021, INSEE said.
This is a “spectacular rebound” which “erased the economic crisis”, declared the Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire, believing that “this proves that the government’s economic policy has been effective”.
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Paris spent around 60 billion euros ($67 billion) last year to support the comeback, sending public debt to about 113% of annual output, almost double the European Union’s official limits.
Even with the first half of the year hampered by ongoing coronavirus restrictions, France’s growth in 2021 likely makes it one of the best performers among the 19 countries using the single currency, far outpacing the 2, 7% reserved in Germany.
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In the third quarter, unemployment fell to its lowest in nearly a decade, according to figures released earlier this week.
For this year, the government expects an expansion of 4%, while the Banque de France has predicted 3.6%.