France ‒ Scenario 2021-2022: A light at the end of the tunnel
- Recent trends in activity
- Focus: Job market
- Our scenario for 2021-2022
The third wave of the epidemic and the resulting lockdown once again remind us that the health situation remains the main determinant of economic activity. The lockdown in April 2021 led us to revise down our growth forecasts for the second quarter of 2021 and to delay the process of a sustainable business recovery in our scenario. Nevertheless, despite a very significant delay compared to other developed countries, the recent acceleration of the vaccination campaign in Europe and France allows us to contemplate an exit from the crisis.
As the component of growth that is most affected by health restrictions and lockdowns, with the closure of non-essential retail, in December, household consumption confirmed its ability to rebound in spring 2020. In December, the reopening of shops was accompanied by a sharp recovery in demand and a temporary overconsumption of certain goods, even though the drop in consumption in November was less significant than it was during the first lockdown (due to the adaptation of certain shops and greater use of online sales in particular). Some purchases were therefore simply deferred. This overconsumption is notable in household goods. On the other hand, service consumption remains far below pre-crisis levels and is still penalised by the curfew and closure of establishments. However, the support measures for these sectors have been strengthened and now appear better targeted to help them hold out in the long run; for example, the partial reopening of restaurants is not planned before the second half of May at the earliest.Pierre BENADJAOUD, Economiste