France official trade deficit deepens in July
The French trade balance showed an increased deficit in July, amounting to 4.180 billion euros (5.3 billion dollars) from 3.718 billion euros in June, official data showed on Wednesday.
The figures, which contrast with a strong trade performance by the other main economy in the eurozone Germany, were on an adjusted basis from the customs service.
Exports totalled 33.7 billion euros from 33.0 billion euros in June. During the month, exports to other countries in the European Union increased, but exports to Asia and North America slipped, the finance minister commented on its website.
Analysts say that recovery and demand for imports in emerging economies, notably in Asia, offer one of the main drivers of growth for European economies as they emerge from the global economic crisis.
French industrial exports picked up, driven notably by sales of electrical and computer equipment, by pharmaceutical products and by refined oil products.
Imports rose by more, to total 37.8 billion euros in July from 36.7 billion euros in June.
In the 12 months to the end of July, the French trade balance showed a cumulative deficit of 46.6 billion euros.
Analysts in France have noted for some time that France has developed a structural trade deficit, commenting that this reflects a lack of competitiveness, and an undue focus by many exporting companies on products which do not have exceptionally strong market positions.
The trade balance is an important measure of the capacity of sectors producing goods and services in a country to generate earnings to cover imports, and any surplus of exports over imports is one of the overall components of growth in an economy.
© 2010 AFP