G-7 Finance Ministers to Hold an Emergency Discussion over the Coronavirus
G-7 finance ministers in the euro area will hold a conference call Wednesday to "coordinate their responses" to the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
“We will have that meeting by phone—because you need to avoid travelling too much - for the G7 to coordinate its response,” Le Maire told France 2 television.
For France’s part, Le Maire said the impact from the coronavirus will be “much more significant” than the 0.1 percentage point reduction in annual growth that the French finance ministry had forecast only two weeks ago, he said, France 24 reported.
The French government expects 1.3% growth this year, while in December the national statistics agency INSEE forecasts a 0.2% growth in the first quarter of 2020.
France's GDP growth slowed to 1.2% in 2019 after the difficult fourth quarter, which saw a 0.1% fall in output amid a crippling transport strike against pension reform.
Although the coronavirus has not yet closed or delayed the business of many factories outside China, it has already affected the travel and tourism sectors. France's famous Louvre Museum, a key attraction in one of the world's most famous tourist destinations, was closed on Sunday, and one of the country's major annual trade fairs, the Paris Book Fair, to be held later this month, was canceled.
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