GDP plunged 6% in the first quarter of 2020, according to a first estimate from the Banque de France, unveiled this Wednesday morning. The worst decline since the end of World War II, after an already negative last quarter of 2019. Some sectors, including construction and market services, have seen their activity drop by more than half due to containment measures.
This is only an estimate for the time being. According to the Banque de France, France’s GDP will fall by 6% in the first quarter of this year due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. “We have to go back to the second quarter of 1968, marked by the events of May, to find a quarterly drop in activity of the same order of magnitude”, but still lower, she explains in her economic report. GDP then fell 5.3%, before rebounding 0.8%.
That this fall, the worst ever recorded since the end of the Second World War, is in fact more or less heavy, this confirms in any case that the French economy entered into recession in the first quarter. GDP had indeed fallen by 0.1% in the last three months of 2019.