The French trade deficit widened sharply to EUR 5.6 billion in August 2018 from a revised 3.4 billion in the previous month and way above market consensus of a EUR 4.5 billion gap. Imports jumped 4.9 percent to a near-record of EUR 47.0 billion while exports were almost unchanged at EUR 41.3 billion.
Imports climbed 4.9 percent from a month earlier to a near all-time high of EUR 47.0 billion in August driven by purchases of metallurgical and metal products (10.3 percent), industrial and agricultural machinery (3.4 percent), computer, electronic and optical products (3 percent), and natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (2.9 percent). Meantime, imports of automotive industry products fell 0.4 percent.
Among major trading partners, imports rose mainly from Italy (8.9 percent), Spain (3.3 percent), Belgium (3.2 percent), Germany (2 percent) and China & Hong Kong (1.6 percent).
Meanwhile, exports edged down 0.1 percent to EUR 41.3 billion in August as sales declined mostly for aerospace industry products (-24.7 percent). Still, there were increases in exports of chemical products (7.5 percent), industrial and agricultural machinery (7.2 percent), automotive industry products (4.6 percent) and food industry products (1.6 percent).
Among major trading partners, exports declined mostly to Spain (-4.2 percent), but went up to the US (6.3 percent), Italy (5.2 percent), Germany and Belgium (0.2 percent each).
10/8/2018 11:19:49 AM