PARIS (Reuters) – France’s INSEE official statistics agency confirmed on Tuesday a forecast of a 9% drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

French economic activity should run at 95% of pre-epidemic levels in the third quarter and at 96% of pre-outbreak levels in the fourth, INSEE added.

Economic activity ran at 81% of pre-outbreak levels in Q2, data showed.

INSEE also said that employment fell by 0.9% in the second quarter after a -2% slump in Q1.

(Reporting by Benoit van Overstraeten and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Louise Heavens)

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks at the financial and business district of La Defense as France reinforces mask-wearing in public places as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the country, near Paris, France August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes