French official trade deficit narrows to 4.97 bn euros

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France reported on Friday a sharply reduced official trade deficit of 4.97 billion euros for August, down from 6.36 billion in July due to a jump in aeronautical exports.

"The execution of major aeronautical and airspace contracts caused a sharp increase in export of transportation equipment in August," the French customs service said in a statement.

Exports of other industrial products was also strong, as were import of industrial supplies, it added.

It said the monthly reduction in the trade deficit was entirely due to the transportation sector.

The 12-month deficit came in at 66.8 billion euros, considerably higher than the 51.5 billion euro deficit recorded in 2010.

The French government expects a record trade deficit of 73.1 billion euros, according to the draft 2012 budget.

© 2011 AFP

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