New foreign trade figures released by France for the first half of 2020 reveal the economic devastation the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked on the eurozone’s second economy.
French exports of goods are down by 21.5% compared to the first half of 2019. It is a drop greater than that recorded in the first half of 2009, at the height of the Great Recession. It's only partially offset by a decline in imports.
Foreign Trade Minister Franck Riester said that “these figures are unfortunately not a surprise, as the scale of the crisis we are going through is exceptional.”
France also experienced a dramatic clump in its goods trade deficit to minus €34.0 billion (minus $40.2 billion) from minus €29.0 billion ($34.3 billion) in the first half of 2019.