France's central bank upped its 2021 growth prediction to 6.7%, up from 6.3% in September and 5.8% in June, as the development of a new Omicron coronavirus variant does not appear to have an impact on the economic outlook, according to its head, Francois Villeroy de Galhau.
"French growth continues to be strong. Companies' CEOs are slightly more cautious about the future, but we've caught up with pre-crisis levels since last September and now we're above it," Villeroy stated.
"Let me give you a really amazing figure this morning, we'll publish the full set of our forecasts on December 20, our forecasts show that French growth in 2021 will be 6.7%," he said.
"That figure is far higher than forecasted for the first half of the year, and it is the highest growth number in more than 50 years."
After the country's vaccination programme picked up steam in the second quarter and coronavirus restrictions were eased, allowing most enterprises to resume operations, the Eurozone's second-largest economy has outperformed most estimates in recent months.
However, France, like many other European countries, is fighting a resurgence of the disease brought on by the Delta variant, and is preparing to contain the Omicron variant.
Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday that nightclubs will be closed and social distancing measures would be tightened in the run-up to Christmas, but ruled out a new lockdown because over 90% of eligible persons have been vaccinated.
For the time being, Villeroy, who is also a member of the ECB's policy-setting governing council, sees two key risks to French growth: a labour shortage and a supply shortage.
He also predicted that inflation in France will ease next year, with the rate likely to fall below 2% by the end of 2022.