French official payments deficit rises sharply in May

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France reported a sharp worsening in May of its deficit on current payments into and out of the country, a key measure of the underlying performance of an economy.

The Bank of France reported that the balance of payments on the current account showed a deficit of 4.5 billion euros (5.7 billion dollars) after a deficit of 2.9 billion euros in April.

The data was provided after adjustment for seasonal factors.

The bank also reported that the balance in the 12 months to the end of May showed a deficit of 38.4 billion euros, on an unadjusted basis

The balance of payments is a register of current payments into and out of a country, and is considered to be a long-term indicator of the underlying capacity of a country to pay its way in the world, and of its competitiveness.

It includes payments for imports and exports, and separately for investment internally or externally in assets, stocks, and bonds, interest, debt interest and dividend payments, for tourism and financial services, and repatriated earnings including money sent home by immigrant workers.

France has developed structural deficits for some time.

© 2010 AFP

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