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Economy in Brief

French Production and Construction, German Exports Increase in AugustĀ 
by Louise Curley October 10, 2005

French industrial production, excluding construction, rose 0.8% in August after falling 0.7% in July. The rise brings the index to 101.4 (2000=100) its highest level since February of this year. Production of consumer goods, excluding autos, was up 0.98% in the month and 1.87% over August, 2004. Auto production fell 3.06% in August, but was even with production in August, 2004. Capital goods production rose 0.49% in August and was 1.87% above the year ago figure. The largest increase among the components of industrial production was a 1.92% increase in intermediate goods, suggesting that manufactures may be increasing inventories. While the rise in production is encouraging, it does not, so far, indicate any marked improvement in the relatively flat trend that has persisted since mid 2003.

Increased activity in French construction in the month of August was also reported today. The index rose 1.82% from July to 106.3 (2000=100). The level of construction was, however, slightly below that of a year ago. Construction activity, in contrast to production activity, has shown a slight downward trend since mid 2003. The rise in construction activity in August, like that in production, does not yet indicate a change in the trend. The industrial production and construction indexes are shown in the first chart.

German exports of goods were 67.30 billion euros in August, a 3.52% increase from July and a 10.76% increase from August of a year ago. The 10% decline in the euro this year and good demand outside the euro area have been largely responsible for the good showing. Imports, however, increased 6.01% in August and were 12.77% over the corresponding month of a year ago, due in part to the increased price of oil. As a result, the balance on goods fell 0.81 billion euros from 13.46 billion euros in July to 12.65 billion euros in August but was 0.35 billion euros above August 2004. German exports and imports of goods are shown in the second chart.

France  Aug 05  Jul  05 Aug 04 M/M  % Y/Y % 2004   2003   2002  
Industrial Production, ex construction (2000=100) 101.4 100.6 100.4 0.80 1.00 101.3 99.6 99.9
  Consumer goods, ex autos 103.5 102.5 101.6 0.98 1.87 101.6 99.5 99.3
  Autos 107.7 111.1 107.7 -3.06 0.00 112.8 107.6 108.9
  Capital goods 103.3 102.8 101.4 0.49 1.87 101.4 99.1 99.0
  Intermediate goods 95.6 93.8 95.4 1.92 0.21 96.1 94.8 96.7
 Construction (2000=100)  106.3 104.4 106.4 1.82 -0.09 107.4   105.5 105.0
 Germany Aug 05  Jul  05 Aug 04 M/M % Y/Y % 2004
Mo Avg  
2003
Mo Avg 
2002
  Mo Avg 
Exports SA (Bil euros) 67.30 65.01 60.76 3.52 10.76 60.48 55.57 54.54
Imports 54.65 51.55 48.46 6.01 12.77 47.65 44.66  43.33 
Balance 12.65 13.46 12.30 -0.81* 0.35* 12.82 10.91 11.16
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