PARIS (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire reaffirmed on Wednesday that the French economy should grow by 5% in 2021, and told BFM TV that financial aid measures to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis should remain until the end of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, France had cut its 2021 growth forecast to that 5% figure from an earlier 6% target, as a result of the country’s third national lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Bars and restaurants have already been closed for months, while tourist travel is at a standstill, although unlike when France entered its first national lockdown a year ago, construction work and manufacturing are among business areas still ticking over.
The French government may consider re-opening some businesses in May, if it feels the COVID-19 situation in the country is improving.
(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by David Goodman/Sudip Kar-Gupta)