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Economy in Brief

France's  Current Account Balance Improves in February, but It Has a Long Way to Go to Reach Previous Highs
by Louise Curley April 19, 2004

France's Current Account has been deteriorating since early 2002. In 2003 it was 53% below the level of 2002. Much of the decline can be attributed to the rise of the euro, which on average rose from .9452 to 1.1317, or about 20%.

The attached chart compares the Euro on an inverted scale with France's current account balance. The rise in the euro (a decline on the chart) since early 2002 is reflected in the decline of the current account balance.

The euro has recently declined and as of April 19, was 1.2019, or some 6% below the peak reached in January of this year. A lower euro should help to improve France's current account and the improvement in the current account in February, moving to a positive 1,397 million euros from a negative 409 million euros in January is encouraging. However, the current account for the first two months of the year is still only half that of the first two months of 2002.

France Feb 04 Jan 04 Feb  03 M/M Chg Y/Y Chg  2003 2002 2001
Current Account 
(millions of Euros)
1397 -404 727 1806 670 10828 23209 24627
                 
US$ vs Euro 1.261 1.2640 1.0785 0.02 17.20 1.1317 .9453 .8955
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