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French economy to contract 9-10% this year - INSEE

PARIS, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The French economy is set to contract 9-10% this year, depending on how long the current coronavirus lockdown lasts, the INSEE official statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Depending on whether the lockdown is extended into December, and if so for how long, the economy would contract between 2.5% and 6% in the final quarter of 2020 from the previous three months, INSEE estimated.

That translated into a contraction of 9-10% for the full year, INSEE said in its latest economic outlook.

It estimated that the euro zone’s second-biggest economy was currently operating down 13% from normal levels since France entered its second lockdown on Oct. 30.

That was better than the 30% reduction seen in April during a first lockdown to contain the outbreak, with industry and construction faring much better, INSEE said.

Consumer spending was running 15% below normal levels, half of the reduction seen in the first lockdown, according to credit and debit card transactions data analysed by INSEE. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Alex Richardson)