French industrial production bounces back in March

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French industrial production as a whole rose by 1.0 percent in March despite falls in transport and the auto sector, after stagnating in February, official data showed on Monday.

Manufacturing output rose by 0.8 percent, after a more modest rise the previous month of 0.3 percent, the statistics institute INSEE said.

The rise in French industrial production for the first quarter, at 3.9 percent, has now reached higher levels than at the same period last year at the height of the financial crisis, the figures showed.

"Growth is well and truly back in French industry. But activity remains sharply down on the pre-crisis period," said economist Alexander Law from French research firm Xerfi.

© 2010 AFP

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