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The eco brief. Tightening of health measures: how to limit the economic damage


Poster on the front of a store closed because of the Covid-19 in Lille (North). Illustrative photo. (THIERRY THOREL / MAXPPP / MAXPPP)

Everyone has in mind the effects of the first confinement. A very strict confinement of three months. Thirteen weeks which, in addition to the heavy human toll with the number of victims of the virus, will have caused consumption to fall, leading to a decline in growth of nearly 14% in the second quarter, not to mention the twelve and a half million unemployed employees partial. France cannot afford another episode like this.

Here again it is useful to learn the lessons. First of all, the complete closure of schools. Between March and June we saw the disorganization it caused for parents forced by their professional activity. Can the government repeat the experience? Probably not. Another bias: teleworking. We noticed during three months that many companies could operate without too much difficulty with remote employees. A survey just published by the Ministry of Labor (DARES, statistical services) shows that at the end of September 70% of employees were back on their site, 12% were still teleworking. So there is clearly room for maneuver on this side.

Companies are still held at arm’s length by the hundreds of billions of euros released by the police. But the blast effect, the shock wave, of the first confinement has not yet been fully felt. For the moment, there are no mass bankruptcies. Commercial courts do not report judicial liquidations more than usual. It’s the calm before the storm. On the night of Monday to Tuesday, October 27, the deputies voted for the expenditure part of the 2021 finance bill (including the 22 billion of the stimulus plan for the year). This budget already seems obsolete.

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