French industrial output up in December

10th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French industrial output rose sharply in December, advancing 0.7 percent from November and 1.7 percent from December 2003, the national statistics institute INSEE reported Thursday.

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French industrial output rose sharply in December, advancing 0.7 percent from November and 1.7 percent from December 2003, the national statistics institute INSEE reported Thursday.

Manufacturing production expanded 0.9 percent from November and was up 2.1 percent on the year, it said.

Overall industrial output in the final three months of 2004 rose 1.6 percent from fourth quarter 2003, with manufacturing output up 2.3 percent.

Production in December was driven by consumer goods, leather products, publishing, pharmaceuticals and maintenance operations.

"The year 2004 ended on an encouraging note for industry," said CCF economist Nicolas Claquin.

Added analyst Jean-Marc Lucas of the bank BNP Paribas: "The pickup in momentum seen at the end of last year reflected a strengthening in consumption, sustained by a probable fall in savings account rates and government support measures."

Alexandre Bourgeois of Natexis Banques Populaires described the industrial production results as "good news" but warned that the 2005 performance could be affected by the effects of a strong euro late in 2004 and the expected slowdown in world trade this year."

Claquin of CCF noted that "the business climate has been stable for several months".

"In the near term the industrial sector should continue to record growth performances of about two percent.

"Growth figures for the fourth quarter should show a clear rebound at the end of the year - at least 0.6 percent - after stagnation in the third quarter," he added

INSEE is expected on Friday to report an early estimate of French economic growth in 2004.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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