French President Emmanuel Macron was expected to address the nation on television this morning about the ongoing street protests.
Macron was earlier to meet representatives of trade unions, employers' organisations and associations of local elected officials.
The meeting is designed to "bring together all the political, territorial, economic and social forces at these difficult times for the nation, in order to hear their voices and proposals with a view to mobilise them into action," a source told AFP.
Burnt-out cars and debris were cleared from the streets of Paris and other cities yesterday as the French finance minister warned that the protests were "an economic disaster".
"It's a catastrophe for trade. It's a catastrophe for our economy," said Bruno Le Maire.
Le Maire promised that the state and insurance companies would foot the repair bill. Tax payments due at the end of the year will be postponed for retailers whose shops were ransacked two weeks before Christmas, he said.
Dozens of cars were torched in the capital as protesters roared "Macron resign".
Clashes also broke out in Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse during the fourth consecutive weekend of protests.
Tourism has suffered a blow, with Paris hotel bookings over Christmas and New Year, normally a busy period, down by at least 20 per cent.
Emmanuel Grégoire, the city's deputy mayor, said the damage to property was worse than in the previous weekend's riots. He said: "The protests spread over a much larger area, so many more places were hit." However, there was less violence, thanks to an increase in police numbers and more efficient tactics. Officers swiftly detained troublemakers, arresting more than 1700 people, a record for a single day in post-war France.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the foreign minister, rebuked Donald Trump for a provocative tweet in which he appeared to back the protesters and claimed they were chanting his name on the streets of Paris. Daily Telegraph reporters, placed across the city, heard no such chants. "We do not take part in domestic American politics and we want that to be reciprocated," Le Drian said.
Thousands of protesters blockaded petrol stations and barricaded roads across the country yesterday.