The French economy shrank by an estimated 6 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous three months. With that estimate comes the central bank of France. It would be the strongest economic contraction in France since World War II.

France has implemented strict rules to prevent the spread of the new corona virus. Shops that do not sell food remain closed and people are only allowed to leave the house for the essentials.

The Banque de France estimates that each week that these measures apply, economic activity shrinks by nearly a third. The central bank comes to this conclusion on the basis of surveys among 8,500 companies, supplemented with up-to-date data on, for example, benefit applications and card payments. Among other things, it emerged that French industry uses only 56 percent of its total capacity, a historic low. The car industry is on an even lower back burner.

The obligation to stay at home as much as possible was introduced on March 17 and officially ends on April 15. The French government warned that measures against Covid-19 may remain in effect longer.

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