French output slumps, trade deficit widens

12th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 12 (AFP) - French industrial output fell 1.9 percent in August from July due largely to a sharp drop in car production, seasonally adjusted data released Tuesday by the INSEE statistics institute showed.

PARIS, Oct 12 (AFP) - French industrial output fell 1.9 percent in August from July due largely to a sharp drop in car production, seasonally adjusted data released Tuesday by the INSEE statistics institute showed.  

The decline was much sharper than had been expected, with analysts having forecast a 0.1 percent dip over the month.  

"This sharp decline is due almost entirely to a drop in automobile (production) in response to the unusual and temporary closure, during a large part of August, of a big assembly line at a big car maker," INSEE said without naming the company.  

Automobile production tumbled 14.4 percent in August from July.  

In July, industrial production was flat, the institute said, revising downward an earlier estimate of 0.2 percent increase.  

Manufacturing output, which excludes food and energy production, was down 2.1 percent in August from July compared with a 0.1 percent rise the month before, originally reported up 0.3 percent.  

Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent decline for this component.  

Separately, French customs said that provisional, seasonally-adjusted trade figures for August showed a deficit of EUR 2.454 billion (USD 3.018 billion) compared with a shortfall of EUR 464 million in July, which was revised from a surplus of EUR 437 million reported originally.  

Exports in August totalled EUR 27.660 billion in August compared with EUR 28.886 billion the month before, revised from an earlier estimate of EUR 28.877 billion in July.   Imports rose to EUR 30.114 billion from EUR 29.350 billion in July, revised from EUR 29.314 billion reported originally.  

The trade balance for the year to date showed a deficit of EUR 2.463 billion compared with a surplus of EUR 162 million over the same period last year.  

"Although imports keep up their dynamic growth, exports are biding time: big transport contracts are not very high and automobile exports fell," customs said in a statement.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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