'Satisfactory' rise in French industrial output

10th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 10 (AFP) - Industrial production in France edged up 0.2 percent in January from December, and was 2.3 percent higher than a year ago, the national statistics institute INSEE said Thursday.

PARIS, March 10 (AFP) - Industrial production in France edged up 0.2 percent in January from December, and was 2.3 percent higher than a year ago, the national statistics institute INSEE said Thursday.

Manufacturing output in January rose 0.5 percent from the previous month and 3.0 percent from January 2003, it said.

Production in January was driven by a 1.1 percent rise in intermediary goods, such as textiles (2.9 percent), chemical-based products in rubber and plastic (2.4 percent) and consumer goods (0.4 percent).

Weakening output was reported in the automobile industry, down 1.5 percent, and energy, off 1.7 percent.

The agricultural and food sectors were flat.

Analyst Marc Touati of Natexis Banques Populaires said the monthly 0.2 percent rise "illustrates fairly well the state of the French economy: It isn't a disaster, but it is far from being good."

However, several other analysts emphasised it was the third straight month of industrial output gains, for the first time in more than three years. Output rose 0.4 percent in November and 0.6 percent in December.

Stephane Deo of UBS said: "The French statistic echoes that of the German statistic published Wednesday (a 3.1 percent monthly gain in January)" and showed "industrial production is clearly on the road to recovery in Europe."

Nicolas Claquin of CCF said that French output was firming around an annual growth rate of more than 2.0 percent, but warned the pace could slacken from lower demand.

"For now, industrial production still offers satisfactory results. That, however, could moderate in the coming months. The outlook on orders has been in retreat since the beginning of the year," Claquin said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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