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Economy in Brief

French Output Begins To Stabilize
by Robert Brusca August 10, 2009

French industrial output in June has expanded by 0.3% m/m after rising by 2.8% in May, turning the three-month rate of growth positive. Capital goods and intermediate goods output lead the rise. The output of consumer goods is still falling over three months although consumer nondurables output is looking steadier than consumer durable goods output, which fell sharply in June.

In the completed quarter to date output in France is off by 3.2% at an annual rate. Output in the quarter is stabilized by the rising output of consumer nondurable goods and capital goods, each of which rose at a pace of 6.4% in Q2. But consumer durables output is still falling at a 16.1% annual rate and intermediate goods output fell, dragging the overall growth rate of production into negative territory for the quarter.

Auto output is up strongly on auto incentives. Output for the auto sector is up at a 266% annual rate over three months and at a 47% annual rate in the quarter, helping to buoy the economy.

On balance the French figures are offering very hopefuls signs of stabilization in the sector. Europe is trying to find its footing and France is part of the solution.

French IP Excluding Construction
Saar exept m/m Jun-09 May-09 Apr-09 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo Quarter-to-date
IP total 0.3% 2.8% -1.4% 7.2% -10.0% -12.8% -3.2%
  Consumer Dur -2.7% 0.9% -2.3% -15.1% -18.6% -17.6% -16.1%
  Consumer Ndur 0.0% 0.2% -0.5% -1.2% -12.3% -3.7% 6.4%
  Capital 1.3% 2.7% -0.1% 16.4% -10.7% -14.1% 6.4%
  Intermed -0.3% 3.7% -0.4% 12.6% -8.4% -21.6% -0.7%
  Auto 14.5% 11.3% 8.6% 266.7% 41.9% -24.3% 47.3%
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