All the indicators point in this direction: of the three confinements, it is during the third that the French economy has suffered the least, we learn from an economic report from the INSEE.
The transport sector saw its turnover collapse by 50% in April 2021
Confining while limiting the impact on the economy: this was the challenge of the executive from the second confinement. With the third lockdown, the government did it even better. According to an INSEE economic report, during the third confinement, household consumption fell to 10% below its pre-crisis level, against 15% in November 2020 and 31% in April 2020.
The turnover of the various sectors of activity has therefore declined to a lesser extent compared to previous confinements. In the transport and storage sector, it has certainly fallen a lot (-50% in April 2021), but it is still less than in April 2020 (-91.3%). In accommodation and catering, the decline was 62%, against -82.3% in April 2020. Non-market services, after a drop of 41.6% in April 2020, however posted an increase of 3% in April 2021. As for the GDP (which is the sum of the turnover of all sectors of activity), in April 2021 it fell to 6% below its pre-crisis level (against -7.5% in November 2020 and -31% in April 2020).
During the third confinement, the French moved more, to frequent shops in particular
INSEE economists have notably studied the evolution of bank card transactions and data on French travel (obtained through Google Mobility Reports). It appears that the decline in bank card transactions was less than during the two previous confinements. The frequentation of shops (food or not), as well as that of public transport and workplaces was more important. And this is easily explained: the range of open shops is a little wider, while on-site work was made possible in areas where it is needed.
The deconfinement started on May 3, 2021 should lead economic activity to return to around 4% below its pre-crisis level in May 2020, then to -2.5% in June 2021. Under these assumptions, GDP for the second quarter would barely increase, on the order of + 0.25% compared to the previous quarter. This quarter it would be around 4% below its pre-crisis level.