The French economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter after the collapse due to containment in the spring, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing by 18.2%, according to a first estimate published by INSEE on Friday.
Read also: The economic recovery is confirmed, but remains fragile
However, it remains "
significantly below its pre-crisis level
" since it is down 4.3% compared to the third quarter of 2019, specifies the National Institute of Statistics, which does not give any updated forecast. for the last quarter of 2020 when confinement should cause GDP to drop again according to the government.
In the third quarter, the rebound was driven by household consumption, up 17.3%, in particular for goods which experienced “catching up effects” after containment.
However, it remains 2.1% lower than its pre-crisis level, with service purchases still struggling.
Consumption by general government, which is growing sharply, has caught up with its pre-crisis level, while the rebound in investment (+ 23.3%) has not yet made it possible to close the gap with respect to third quarter 2019, details INSEE.
Resumption of exports and production of goods and services
As for the production of goods and services, here again, the third quarter marked a clear recovery (+ 17.6%), with the return to normal being almost achieved in non-market services, while the production of goods and services. merchant services remain in decline.
Finally, foreign trade made a positive contribution to the development of GDP over the quarter, with a sharp increase in exports (+ 23.2%), even if they have not returned to their pre-crisis level.
"The growth sectors for French exports (aeronautics, international tourism, etc.) are particularly affected by the crisis", underlines INSEE.
The confinement had collapsed the French economy, with a fall in GDP revised to 13.7% in the second quarter (against -13.8% estimated so far).
For the whole of 2020, INSEE expects a 9% recession, with GDP stagnating in the last quarter, but that was before the government's decision to reconfine the country.
Read also: Reconfinement: a new shock for public finances already severely degraded
The government anticipates at this stage a decline of 10% of GDP, but the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire estimated Thursday that the confinement would cause economic activity to fall by 15%.
He also announced a strengthening of support measures for companies, at an estimated cost of 15 billion euros for one month of confinement.