French economy hit by deepest fall since 1945

France is facing a recession nearly as deep as the Great Depression, with the economy contracting by 8% and possibly even 10% due to the shutdown caused by Covid-19.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the economy had taken a severe blow in “the deepest recession since 1945”.

He said the government’s “goal is to save what can be saved now in order to rebound tomorrow and “we must protect our productive base”.

Figures showed how badly economic life has been hit, with car and airline activity down 90%, public works down 85%, textile and interim work down 75%, security and aluminium down 70%, and commercial cleaners and aeronautics down by 60%.

Worse, the figures, by French firm QuantCube, do not include hotel, restaurant, tourism or events sectors, which have been at a standstill.

Unsurprisingly, only two sectors were ...

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