France Trade Deficit Narrows In July

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France’s trade deficit narrowed in July after widening in the previous month amid sharp declines in both exports and imports, figures from the French Customs showed on Tuesday.

The trade deficit decreased to EUR 6.994 billion from EUR 8.057 billion in June. In May, the shortfall was EUR 7.432 billion.

In July 2019, the trade gap was EUR 5.162 billion.

Exports fell 25.4 percent year-on-year, but grew 9.6 percent from the previous month. Imports dropped 17.2 percent from a year ago, while they grew 5.1 percent from June.

Excluding energy, the trade deficit decreased slightly after strong increase in the previous two months, thanks to a dynamic recovery in external flows.

The post-Covid-19 rebound in trade, which began in May, continued in July with Imports and exports rising to 90 percent and 83 percent of their 2019 average level, the agency said.

Capital goods exports, led by aircraft manufacturing, recovered significantly more than imports, yet deliveries remained 26 percent below their 2019 average.

Export growth in consumer goods surpassed that of imports, which returned to its pre-crisis level.

Due to the slower recovery in deliveries of intermediate goods, the trade deficit in that group increased further after hitting low levels in March to June, the agency added.

Separately, Bank of France reported that the current account deficit narrowed to EUR 6.20 billion in July from EUR 8.60 billion in June.

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