French trade deficit widens in January

8th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's trade deficit widened to 5.89 billion euros ($8.21 billion) in January from 5.60 billion euros the previous month, seasonally adjusted figures from the customs office showed Tuesday.

Markets had expected a 5.15-billion-euro deficit, according to a survey of economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Unrest in north Africa and the Middle East helped spike oil prices, inflating France's import bill by 600 million euros, the French finance ministry said on its website.

Imports of manufactured goods rose "in order to satisfy the influx of orders at the end of 2010, before auto subsidies ended," it said.

In January, imports reached 40.20 billion euros after 38.88 billion euros in December.

Exports rose moderately to 34.31 billion euros in January compared to 33.82 billion euros the previous month. Exports of aeronautical, chemical and pharmaceutical products sagged, the ministry said.

© 2011 AFP

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