France to 'limit economic impact' of new lockdown with schools, public services open

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The Banque de France predicts economic activity in November will decline by 12 percent under the country's second Covid-19 lockdown. That compares to a 31 percent decline during the first confinement in April, with the decision to maintain public services and keep schools open playing "a key role" in limiting the economic impact.

The new figures were published on Monday in Banque de France's economic forecast under the new lockdown measures.

"Before the second wave, we thought the recession would be a little less than 9 percent, we think today that for 2020 as a whole it will be between 9 and 10 percent," Banque de France chief François Villeroy de Galhau said on RTL radio station.

Restaurants, non-food retail and recreation activities are worst hit by the new restrictions which shut or tightly restricted their activities.

Public services & schools

But the lockdown is somewhat less restrictive than the first with more businesses allowed to operate.

Construction activity has been allowed to continue and public services remain intact under the second lockdown, while more companies have figured out how to continue operations using remote working.

"We've learnt together how to work while protecting workers," explained Villeroy de Galhau.

Maintaining the activity of public services and schools played a significant role for about a quarter of the gap between the two lockdowns, said the Banque de France.