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Economy in Brief

French Imports Out Jump Exports
by Robert Brusca August 8, 2007

France trade deficit shrank in June compared to May but it still remained large. Quarter to quarter the deficit grew by €770mn. In Q2 French imports rose at a 12.1% pace compared to exports that rose by a scant 1.8% annual rate. The chart on the left shows that the reason for that is that exports slid deeper into the quarter than did imports although both rose sharply in June at quarter’s end.

In June export and import growth rates are strong across all main commodity categories. But over three months we see that import growth has been strong across the board on growth rates ranging from 11% to 27%. For exports, strong consumer goods export flows helped to compensate for weak capital goods and dropping motor vehicle exports.

A French spokesman blamed the persisting deficit on structural problems not on a too-strong euro.

French Trade trends for goods
  m/m% % Saar
  Jun-07 May-07 3M 6M 12M
Balance* -€€ 3,011.00 -€€ 3,218.00 -€€ 2,941.33 -€€ 2,556.50 -€€ 2,420.33
Exports          
All Exports 5.5% -2.1% 8.7% 7.6% 4.2%
Capital goods 6.9% -6.4% 2.7% 10.0% 1.0%
Motor Vehicles 3.4% -2.4% -1.9% 9.4% 1.8%
Consumer Goods 4.7% -0.6% 22.0% 1.7% 4.9%
IMPORTS          
All Imports 4.9% -0.8% 27.0% 11.6% 8.0%
Capital goods 4.1% 1.1% 22.5% 13.5% 3.1%
Motor Vehicles 6.1% -0.5% 18.8% 18.6% 14.7%
Consumer goods 4.8% -1.7% 11.0% 5.4% 7.9%
*Mil euros; monthly or period average  
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