French Industrial Output Drops

French Industrial Output Drops

France exited recession with 0.5% growth in the second quarter, but there has been concern that was primarily due to increased energy consumption due to cold weather and the economy would find it difficult to continue to expand.

PARIS -- Industrial production in France dropped 1.4% in the third quarter, data showed Friday.

The trade deficit widened to 5.8 billion euros (US$7.8 billion) in September as well.  The economy ministry said the increase in the trade deficit from the 5.1 billion euros in August was in large part due to a drop in deliveries from Airbus as the high-priced aircraft have a large impact on the figures.

Meanwhile, the French statistics agency INSEE said French industrial output fell by 0.5% in September from August, with the fall in manufacturing sector 0.7%. For July through August, industrial output fell by 1.4% overall, with manufacturing down 1.1 percent.

The latest gloomy data was published just as rating agency S&P downgraded French debt by one notch, expressing doubts about policies to reduce the public deficit and to raise competitiveness in the economy.

France exited recession with 0.5% growth in the second quarter, but there has been concern that was primarily due to increased energy consumption due to cold weather and the economy would find it difficult to continue to expand.

Meanwhile, Germany's trade surplus hit a new record in September of 18.9 billion euros. The surplus has been a source of friction as its eurozone partners view it as a symptom of Germans failing to consume enough and thus support output across Europe.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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