French economy now seen contracting by 11% in 2020 - Le Maire

FILE PHOTO: Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Recovery, wearing a protective face mask, leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The French economy is now expected to contract by 11% in 2020, compared to an earlier forecast for a 10% contraction, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told radio on Friday.

France’s new national lockdown - imposed to try and curb a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic - is set to hit the economy as many shops and businesses have to close up again, as they did during an earlier lockdown back in March.

However, Le Maire reiterated he hoped France could get back to having decent economic growth figures by 2021.

“From 2021, we will be capable of being able to find once again growth figures, which will be good growth figures,” he told France Inter radio.

Le Maire said this week that the total cost of French financial support for companies during lockdown will be 15 billion euros (13.6 billion pounds) for each month of lockdown. The lockdown is due to last until Dec. 1, but could be extended.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christopher Cushing