The French economy was hit with a widening trade deficit in September, when energy sector imports rose, and a slide in industrial production, official figures showed Nov. 9. The trade gap with the rest of the world widened 13.5% to 3.083 billion euros (US$4.5 billion) from August, the customs authority said, as imports rose -- notably of energy products -- and the value of exports fell.
But the shortfall narrowed to 9.117 billion euros in the third quarter from 9.453 billion euros in the previous three months. The deficit in the first nine months of the year came to a seasonally corrected 26.058 billion euros, up 27.5% from the same period of 2006.
Separately, the national statistics institute INSEE announced that industrial production in France slowed in September, falling 1.1% after having been stable in August. Manufacturing output, which excludes the food and energy sectors, declined 1.3% in September.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007