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France’s debt is at its highest level since 1949 due to the virus

French public debt in 2020 was equivalent to 115.7% of annual GDP. (Reuters photo)

The French Statistical Office said that the French public debt rose last year to its highest levels since a short time after World War II due to the Corona virus pandemic and the economic crisis that followed.

The statistics office Inci said that the French public debt in 2020 was equal to 115.7% of annual GDP, and the budget deficit reached 9.2% of GDP, “the highest level since 1949”.

In 2019, before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, French government debt was 97.6% of GDP and the budget deficit was 3.1%.

The government was expecting worse numbers, with a deficit of 11.3% and debt of about 120%.

The Covid-19 pandemic hit the French economy, which shrank by 8.2% in 2020, forcing the government to provide massive support to businesses to avoid bankruptcies and mass job cuts.

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