French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday that the French economy will return to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels of economic activity by the first half of 2022, while also reaffirming his target of 5% economic growth for this year.
"Economic growth is back in the first quarter ... I think we will have a strong growth in 2021," Le Maire told France Info radio.
He ruled out a second economic stimulus plan on top of France's current 100 billion euros ($122 billion) economic stimulus plan.
Le Maire, added, however, that it was fair to raise the issue of longer-term investment plans for France.
President Emmanuel Macron pointed last week to a "second period of recovery" that would see investment accelerated, triggering speculation in the press and among economists that a second round of stimulus was in the pipeline.
Despite reimposed restrictions to curb a surge in COVID-19 infections, the French economy returned to growth in the first quarter, sustained by consumer spending, official data showed at April end.
Gross domestic product (GDP) edged up 0.4% from the final three months of 2020, a year that saw coronavirus restrictions plunge countries worldwide into historic recessions, the Insee statistics agency said at the time.
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