PARIS (Reuters) - France's economy will return to pre-COVID 19 levels by the first quarter of 2022, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told weekly JDD, as a return of spending and investments lay the ground for a recovery.
Le Maire, who reaffirmed his target of 5% economic growth for France this year, said the recent surge in credit card payments, rising holiday season bookings and soaring clothing purchases showed that France was quickly returning to growth.
The minister said the country's debt, which ballooned during the pandemic to fund support measures, should begin to stabilize in 2025 and then decrease. He said he expected the public deficit to be below 3% of gross domestic product in 2027.
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Jean-Michel Bélot; Editing by Leslie Adler)