French economy shrank by record 13.8% in second quarter, better than feared

The French economy contracted by a post-war record of 13.8% in the second quarter, as consumption, investment and trade all collapsed under a lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, although the drop was shallower than expected.

The contraction in the euro zone’s second-largest economy was steeper than the 10.1% reported by Germany, where authorities kept a surge in COVID-19 related deaths in check and did not have to enforce a lockdown as strict as France’s.

The French lockdown was stringently enforced until May 11, with non-essential shops shut down, and gradually lifted over the course of the second quarter, with cafes and restaurants being allowed to open on June 2.

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