On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slightly raised its 2021 growth forecast for the euro zone to 4.4.%.
France is expected to post a growth of +5.8% (+0.3 point compared to January), Germany +3.6% (+0.1 point), Italy +4.2% (+1.2 point) and Spain +6.4% (+0.5 point) although these figures do not take into account the recent lockdown measures in France.
The IMF believes growth in Britain will outpace the euro zone this year with its economy growing by 5.3% in 2021 (+0.8% compared to January), but “is unlikely to regain its pre-pandemic size until some time in 2022.”
According to Reuters, the IMF has stated “Britain has suffered Europe’s highest Covid-19 death toll and its economy shrank by almost 10% last year, the worst performance among the region’s big economies except for Spain.”
Between Britain’s vaccination campaign providing nearly half the total population with a first injection and finance minister Rishi Sunak announcing an extra round of emergency spending and tax cuts last month, “there are reasons for optimism, and we are paving the way for brighter times ahead.”
The IMF also said that Covid recovery will take longer for economies in the U.K. and the euro zone than for the U.S. and Japan, which are both expected to reach pre-crisis levels of output this year.
Eurostat has reported today that the unemployment rate in the euro zone for February 2021 was 8.3% (+0.2% from 2020). Some 15,953 million men and women were unemployed in the EU, of which 13,571 million were in the euro area. Among those under 25, the unemployment rate fell slightly to 17.3%, but since February 2020, 230,000 more youth are without work.
As the French CAC 40 hit its highest midday level since 2007, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire commented today that “a comprehensive agreement on international taxation is now within reach” after U.S. treasury secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday, “We are working with the G20 countries to agree on a minimum corporate tax rate.”
In a statement to AFP, Le Maire said, “We welcome the United States’ support for minimum corporate tax taxation. We also hope to be able to move forward with Janet Yellen on the taxation of digital services to reach a global agreement at the level of the OECD next summer.” He added, we must “seize this historic opportunity.”
And France has added 4 new billionaires, including Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, to the 2021 Forbes Billionaires list. 42 French people now have a fortune exceeding one billion dollars, and their combined wealth totals $510 billion (versus $277 billion in last year’s ranking).
Bancel, who owns 8% of Moderna, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company at the forefront of the anti-Covid vaccine race, is ranked 23 in Forbes France list with a fortune estimated at €3.5 billion.
Olivier Pomel enters the list at number 34. The CEO of the cloud watchdog Datadog owns 6% of the shares which saw their price soar by 39% after their initial listing on Nasdaq. The market capitalization of the company he co-founded, which is present in 24 countries, has already reached €10 billion.
François Feuillet, CEO of Trigano ranks 35th with a net worth €1.5 billion, and at 36th place and worth €1.4 billion, Yves-Loïc Martin is the director and owns 11% of of Eurofins Scientific laboratories, which was founded by his brother Gilles Martin.
Top 10 French Forbes Billionaires
1. Bernard Arnault and his family (LVMH): $150 billion
2. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and her family (L'Oréal): $73.6 billion
3. François Pinault and his family (Kering): $42.3 billion
4. Alain Wertheimer (Chanel): $34.5 billion
5. Gérard Wertheimer (Chanel): $34.5 billion
6. Emmanuel Besnier (Lactalis): $19.1 billion
7. Patrick Drahi (SFR): $11.8 billion
8. Rodolphe Saadé and his family (CMA CGM): $10.9 billion
9. Xavier Niel (Iliad): $8.8 billion
10. Alain Mérieux et sa famille (bioMérieux): $8.2 billion
Forever Young: Bernard Arnault