French payments deficit triples in January

17th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 17 (AFP) - France had a deficit in its foreign payments flows of EUR 3.911 billion (USD 5.2 billion) in January, triple December's EUR 1.184 billion, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

PARIS, March 17 (AFP) - France had a deficit in its foreign payments flows of EUR 3.911 billion (USD 5.2 billion) in January, triple December's EUR 1.184 billion, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

In the last quarter of last year France had run a deficit on its balance of payments on current account, the main measure of the difference between all transaction flows into and out of a country, of at least EUR 1 billion, the ministry said.

The January figure had been adjusted for seasonal variations. Before adjustment the account showed a deficit of EUR 2.5 billion.

The adjusted figure for trade in goods showed a reduced deficit of EUR 1.37 billion from EUR 1.79 billion in December because exports had risen.

But the figure for trade in services excluding travel showed a deficit of EUR 130 million from a previous surplus of EUR 70 million.

Payments in the travel sector showed a steady surplus of EUR 1 billion with the amounts spent by foreigners in France and by the French aboard rising.

The figure for income payments fell to a deficit of EUR 700 million from a surplus of EUR 364 million mainly because a single big company had paid big dividends to shareholders, most of whom were based abroad.

Current transfers showed a sharply increased deficit of EUR 2.726 billion from a deficit of EUR 780 million because of payments to the treasury of the European Union. These had been bigger than usual at the beginning of this year, the ministry said.

Financial transfers showed a surplus of EUR 6.788 billion, but direct investment showed a deficit of EUR 3.281 billion owing mainly to heavy investment abroad by entities in France and a slowing of investment in France by investors abroad.

The ministry said that in keeping with the trend in previous years, portfolio investment flows had show a heavy net outflow. Entities in France had bought instruments issued abroad to the extent of EUR 38.417 billion and foreign interests had spent EUR 8.943 billion on buying instruments issued in France.

Other investment flows showed a net surplus of EUR 42.294 billion.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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