Paris-France recorded the strongest growth in more than 50 years last year, reaching 7% as the eurozone’s second-largest economy recovered faster than expected from the COVID-19 crisis.
The INSEE Census Bureau said in a preliminary report that the economy grew 0.7% in the last three months of the year after a certain strong third quarter that grew 3.1%.
Economists surveyed by Reuters predicted average growth of 0.5% in the fourth quarter.
Beyond year-end expectations means that the economy grew by 7% overall in 2021 and was the strongest since 1969 after a 8% reduction in 2020, when a strict COVID-19 lockdown was implemented. did.
“The French economy has recovered brilliantly, which has wiped out the economic crisis,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Mer said on television in France 2.
“There are still some sectors that are still in trouble, such as tourism and hotels, but most are recovering very strongly, which creates employment.”
As France faces the fifth wave of COVID-19, businesses and consumers will have to deal with strict health restrictions again.
The economy will start in 2022 with a milder foothold, but the central bank says the economic impact of the current wave should be minimal as the economy adapts so much to a pandemic life. ..
“After all, the economic phase is set for the April presidential election. Emmanuel Macron will clearly be happy with the 2021 GDP numbers,” said Jessica Hinds, senior European economist at Capital Economics. rice field.
“But whether Macron can convince French voters to give French voters another five years is not yet a successful deal,” she added.
INSEE said the economy recovered to pre-crisis activity levels in the third quarter as vaccination campaigns gained momentum and the government relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.
Fourth-quarter growth was driven by a 0.4% rise in consumer spending, although it slowed from a very strong rise of 5.6% in the previous quarter as the economy resumed after the blockade.
Business investment increased 0.8% in the fourth quarter, after only 0.1% increase in the last three months.
Growth was also boosted by companies replenishing depleted inventories, with inventory builds up 0.4 percentage points in the fourth quarter after showing 0.7% resistance in the third quarter.