France's INSEE confirms forecast of 9% GDP drop in 2020

FILE PHOTO: A metro passes by the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s INSEE official statistics agency confirmed on Tuesday a forecast of a 9% drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

French economic activity should run at 95% of pre-epidemic levels in the third quarter and at 96% of pre-outbreak levels in the fourth, INSEE added.

Economic activity ran at 81% of pre-outbreak levels in Q2, data showed.

INSEE also said that employment fell by 0.9% in the second quarter after a -2% slump in Q1.

Reporting by Benoit van Overstraeten and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Louise Heavens