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Economy in Brief

French Trade Flows Slow; Imports Drop Sharply
by Robert Brusca February 7, 2008

The French trade trends show a declining profile in both the export and import rates of growth. French export growth shows faltering growth trends across its main categories except motor vehicles that rose over three months as well as year/year. French imports were off sharply in the recent month. But trends over the past year are still showing growth. Over three months, however, the main trade categories are showing declines and posting negative rates of growth.

The message from these statistics is that France and its main trade partners is slowing. Remember that Euro Area (EA) countries’ foreign trade numbers are tricky to interpret since any trade with another country is ‘foreign’ but trade that remains within the EA is without direct foreign exchange consequences. So for EA countries not all foreign trade is created equal. For France the picture is nonetheless one of faltering flows.

French Trade trends for goods
  m/m% % Saar
  Dec-07 Nov-07 3M 6M 12M
Balance* -€€ 4,279.00 -€€ 4,616.00 -€€ 4,174.67 -€€ 3,708.67 -€€ 3,249.42
All Exports -0.8% -1.2% -6.5% -2.7% 1.3%
Capital Goods -2.6% -0.8% -21.3% -4.9% -1.3%
Motor Vehicles 2.7% -3.5% 4.6% 2.1% 4.6%
Consumer Goods -0.8% 0.0% -13.8% -2.6% -2.1%
All Imports -1.3% 1.6% 2.5% 2.4% 5.7%
Capital Goods -4.5% -0.3% -19.8% -8.8% 1.1%
Motor Vehicles -3.9% 2.3% -0.2% -0.9% 8.0%
Consumer Goods -4.6% 1.5% -22.6% -7.3% -0.5%
*Eur mlns; mo or period average
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