French economy to return to pre-COVID levels by Q1 2022, Le Maire says -JDD

FILE PHOTO: Men wearing face masks walk in Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower in Paris amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, Jan. 22, 2021. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s economy will return to pre-COVID-19 levels by the first quarter of 2022, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told weekly JDD, as a return in spending and investment lays the groundwork for a rebound.

Le Maire, who reiterated its target of 5% economic growth for France this year, said the recent surge in credit card payments, increasing bookings for the Christmas season and increasing clothing purchases showed France was rapidly returning to growth.

The minister said the country’s debt, which soared during the pandemic to fund support measures, should stabilize from 2025 and then decline. He said he expected the public deficit to be below 3% of gross domestic product in 2027.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Jean-Michel Bélot; Editing by Leslie Adler

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