French economy contracts a record 13.8% in the second quarter

Above, the EuroFos cargo terminal in Marseille, southern France. The French economy has been shrinking for three consecutive quarters. (AFP)
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Updated 31 July 2020

French economy contracts a record 13.8% in the second quarter

  • French economy has been shrinking for three consecutive quarters

PARIS: France’s economy contracted by a record 13.8 percent in the second quarter under the impact of coronavirus lockdowns, the national statistics institute INSEE said Friday.
The seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter drop in gross domestic product (GDP) was better than forecasts but worse than the performance of its eurozone peers.
“GDP’s negative developments in first half of 2020 is linked to the shut-down of ‘non-essential’ activities in the context of the implementation of the lockdown between mid-March and the beginning of May,” INSEE said in a statement.
INSEE also updated the figure for the first quarter — when lockdowns had just begun to be implemented — to a 5.9 percent contraction, from the 5.3 percent it had previously estimated.
The second quarter figure means the French economy has been shrinking for three consecutive quarters and continues to be in recession.
France’s second quarter contraction was much sharper than the record 10.1 percent fall in Germany. Austria suffered a 10.7 percent contraction and Belgium 12.2 percent.
However, the drop was better than INSEE’s own forecast from mid-June of a 17 percent drop. The French central bank had estimated a 14 percent fall at the beginning of July.
The analyst consensus established by Factset was for a 15.3 percent drop in GDP.


Proposals to cut expats in Kuwait reviewed by National Assembly committee

Updated 10 August 2020

Proposals to cut expats in Kuwait reviewed by National Assembly committee

  • One of the seven plans submitted by members of parliament calls to set a percentage for each migrant community in the country
  • The Kuwaiti government’s plan calls to replace about 160,000 expat working in the public sector with nationals

DUBAI: Thousands of expats in Kuwait are expected to leave the country as talks over the decision have started between the government and the National Assembly human resources committee.
The government and parliamentary proposals are being reviewed by the committee, national daily Kuwait Times reported.
One of the seven plans submitted by members of parliament calls to set a percentage for each migrant community in the country.
The Kuwaiti government’s plan also calls to replace about 160,000 expat working in the public sector with nationals, but did not provide a timeframe.
The proposal also suggests that about 370,000 expats who show a “negative impact” on the country or are illegal residents can be dismissed by taking short-term measures.
The government added in its plan that “marginal” workers should be reduced by 25 percent. It also expects to lower temporary employment contracts by 30 percent in government jobs.
The government also discussed the massive increase in the expat population in the country between 2005 and 2019, as it went up to 4.42 million. It added that during this time, the citizens’ population increased from 860,000 to 1.335 million.