French Finance Minister reaffirms 5% growth forecast for France in 2021

April 14, 2021 3:13 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference for the launching of the 2020 income tax campaign at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, April 8, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo

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PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire reaffirmed on Wednesday that the French economy should grow by 5% in 2021, and told BFM TV that financial aid measures to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis should remain until the end of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, France had cut its 2021 growth forecast to that 5% figure from an earlier 6% target, as a result of the country's third national lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Bars and restaurants have already been closed for months, while tourist travel is at a standstill, although unlike when France entered its first national lockdown a year ago, construction work and manufacturing are among business areas still ticking over.

The French government may consider re-opening some businesses in May, if it feels the COVID-19 situation in the country is improving.

(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by David Goodman/Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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