The value of new orders taken by French industry rebounded strongly in December from November, rising 14.9% thanks to a boost from the auto sector, official statistics showed on Feb. 19.
Orders had risen by just 0.6% in November following two straight months of decline, according to revised figures from the INSEE statistics institute.
Vehicle orders soared by 65.6% in December as consumers rushed to take advantage of a "cash-for-clunkers" program before it began to unwind in January.
Computer and electronic products jumped 57.6%, while electrical equipment fell 4%.
Pharmaceuticals rose 1.7% and clothing apparel were up 0.5%, while textiles experienced a 1.8% decline and the metal industry fell 1.7%.
Orders for exports also surged in December by 19.5%.
For the last quarter of 2009, industrial orders rose by 4.7% compared to the preceding three months.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010