French central bank sees recovery taking longer

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Paris

The French central bank said Monday that it expects the country’s economy to recover more slowly than previously and return to its pre-pandemic level only in mid-2022. The forecast is based on the Covid-19 pandemic not dying down immediately and widespread vaccination not being achieved before the end of 2021. The Banque de France now sees economic output falling by nine percent this year, with a rebound of five percent in 2021. Three months ago the bank forecast a drop in GDP this year of 8.7 percent followed by 7.4 percent growth next year. Since then France has been swept by a second wave of the novel coronavirus that prompted authorities to reintroduce restrictions on movement and the closure of certain businesses.—AFP