July 8, 2020 / 5:49 AM / a month ago

French economy seen rebounding 19% in third-quarter, 3% in fourth-quarter - INSEE

FILE PHOTO: A worker is seen at the Rafaut factory, an equipment supplier to French Ministry of Defense and to civilian aeronautics major primes, at Villeneuve-la-Garenne near Paris, France, June 17, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The French economy is set to rebound sharply in the second half of the year after an unprecedented slump in the first half due to a lockdown to contain the coronavirus, the INSEE stats agency said on Wednesday.

The euro zone’s second-biggest economy likely contracted 17% in the second quarter from the previous three months, unchanged from a June forecast and already on the heels of a 5.3% slump in the first quarter, INSEE said.

The economy was set to rebound 19% in the third quarter and a further 3% in the fourth quarter, leaving the economy down about 9% over the full year, INSEE estimated.

The government put France under one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe in mid-March and began lifting restrictions on May 11.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Tom Hogue

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