Pierre Suu via Getty
  • The French government has cut its annual GDP forecast to -11% from -8% this year, in anticipation of a deeper recession than expected triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • "The economic shock is brutal," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a tweet translated from French. "I am convinced that we will rebound in 2021 thanks to our massive support plans and our recovery plan."
  • Le Maire said on Tuesday that the government would avoid taxing households to cover growing debt from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

After imposing one of Europe's most harsh lockdowns, France expects its economy to shrink by 11% this year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

The French government had previously set a gross domestic product forecast of an 8% contraction this year, before an expected gradual recovery, starting at the end of 2020 and continuing into 2021. The picture, however, has worsened, Le Maire said.

"The economic shock is brutal," Le Maire said in a tweet translated from French. "I am convinced that we will rebound in 2021 thanks to our massive support plans and our recovery plan."

France, Italy, and Spain were among the worst-hit countries by Europe's coronavirus outbreak.

France began loosening lockdown restrictions on May 11 after imposing rules that included a ban on people leaving the immediate vicinity of their homes.

The latest lifting of restrictions saw cafés and restaurants allowed to open in so-called green zones only on Tuesday.

In Paris, these businesses remain restricted to outdoor seating only.

"The economic shock is brutal."
BrunoLeMaire/Twitter
Le-Maire told RTL Radio that the government would push ahead with lower taxes for households, suggesting that there would be no tax hikes on citizens to pay for an expansive coronavirus bill.

Last week, the European Union announced plans for a 750 billion euro (R14 trillion) stimulus package to defend the bloc from the worst of the coronavirus' hit to the continent's economy.

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