France posts first balance of payments surplus in nearly three years

14th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

France recorded in November its first current account payments surplus in nearly three years thanks to falling oil prices, the Banque de France said Wednesday.

The 200 million surplus in November was the first France has posted since December 2011.

The balance of payments on the current account is a measure of all current payments into and out of a country, including payments for trade in goods and services, and is a closely watched indicator of the medium-term capacity of a country to pay its way in the world.

France has been struggling with a huge structural trade deficit, a signal of its weakening competitiveness, which it has tried to address by reducing taxes on businesses.

However it is the collapse of oil prices, which have fallen by around 60 percent since last June, that propelled the French balance of payments back into positive territory.

"The deficit in the trade of goods declined to 1.1 billion from 2.4 billion (in October) due to the effect of a reduction in imports, particularly in energy (in volume and value)," the French central bank said in a statement.

© 2015 AFP

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