French economy rebounded 16% in third quarter: central bank

FILE PHOTO: A city view shows the French flag above the skyline of the French capital as the Eiffel Tower and roof tops are seen in Paris, France, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – The French economy rebounded 16% in the third quarter after an unprecedented 13.8% slump in the previous three months, the central bank estimated on Thursday, sticking with a previous forecast.

The euro zone’s second-biggest economy slumped deep into recession in the second quarter after the country was put under one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns in Europe for two months.

Since the lockdown lifted on May 11, business activity has sprung back to life and the economy was operating down 5% from pre-crisis levels as of September, the central bank said, drawing on the findings of a monthly survey of 8,500 companies.

The INSEE official stats agency also estimated earlier this week that economic growth rebounded 16%, but warned that it was likely to taper off in the final three months of the year in the face of surging new COVID-19 infections. [nL8N2GX4AY]

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