INSEE reveals overwhelming figures testifying to the effects of Covid-19 on the French economy. The loss of economic activity is estimated at 35%. In business, the service sector is the most affected, while industry and construction still resist in March. This “good performance” should however be put into perspective given the method of collecting the indicator in this area.
(illustration) (AFP / AURORE MESENGE)
The business climate in France dropped “heavily” in March, driven by the health and economic crisis of the coronavirus. The benchmark in this area gives up 10 points compared to February, its sharpest decline since its creation in 1980. This synthetic indicator, calculated from the responses of business leaders from the main market sectors, stood at 95 points in March, passing thus below its long-term average of 100, said the National Institute of Statistics in a press release.
One month of confinement = -3 points of GDP
The indicator fell most sharply in the services sector with a decline of 14 points, dropping well below the long-term average to 92 points. The situation has also deteriorated sharply in the retail trade, a sector penalized by the containment measures adopted by the government in mid-March, with a fall of 13 points, to also fall to 92 points. The decline is less pronounced in the industry, which lost three points compared to February, to 99 points. The building is an exception by remaining stable at a high level (112 points). However, given the context of the collection of information from the indicator, this statistic essentially reflects the option of business leaders in early March, specifies INSEE.
Global assessment of the new coronavirus pandemic, as of March 25 at 7 p.m. GMT (AFP /)
INSEE has also released its forecasts on the impact of restrictions decided in France to stop the spread of the virus. According to the institute, a month of confinement would result in 3 points of GDP less in one year.