French Industrial Production Rebounds

French Industrial Production Rebounds

Auto industry gain of 19.5% drove increase.

PARIS -- Propped up by a big turnaround in the auto industry, industrial production in France edged up in August after two months of declines.

The French INSEE statistics institute said industrial production edged up 0.2% in August from output the month before, driven by a 19.5% jump in auto sector activity.

But BNP Paribas analyst Dominique Barbet said the pick-up in August was "disappointing" with economist tabling for a 0.6% rise for the month.

While all indications were pointing to an upward turn in the business cycle, this latest data "showed that French manufacturing is still on a falling trend, despite structural reforms," Barbet said.

Unicredit analyst Tulia Bucco said that the jump in automobile output "compensated marked weakness in all the other sectors, save farming" and indicated that overall growth in France will remain sluggish.

Official forecasts last week said France was on track to achieve a modest 0.2 % growth this year.

France exited recession in the second quarter of the year with economic growth of 0.5%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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