French official trade deficit rises to 6.3 bln euros
France reported on Tuesday an increased official trade deficit of 6.3 billion euros for September, up from 4.3 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in August, but noted a reduction in the deficit in the third quarter.
The latest monthly data put France on track for a record trade deficit this year, in contrast to Germany which France is trying to match in economic performance but which has a big structural trade surplus.
A surplus of exports over imports is one of the factors of growth in an economy, and the structural trade deficit in France is a big concern to policymakers.
In the 12 months to the end of September, France had a cumulative trade deficit of 67.655 billion euros compared with a deficit of 51.293 billion euros for the whole of last year.
The draft budget for 2012 published at the end of September foresees a trade deficit this year of 73.1 billion euros, a record.
The trade deficit dropped from 18.7 billion euros in the second quarter to 17 billion euros in the third, the French customs service said in a statement.
"Aeronautical sales, which jumped in August, ebbed in September. After rising at the start of the summer, exports of other manufactured products also settled," the statement said.
The third quarter saw "a general jump in exports, with the exception of pharmaceuticals and cars," the statement said, noting that sales in industrial and agricultural equipment and in intermediary goods were "particularly dynamic".
But in September weak aerospace exports accounted for half of the fall in exports notably to other countries in the European Union, whereas exports to Asia and Africa were steady.
The September deficit increase was in contrast to the performance by Germany, which reported on Tuesday that its trade surplus grew in September to 15.2 billion euros from 13.9 billion euros in August.
© 2011 AFP