France's trade deficit on trade in goods fell slightly in the third quarter to reach 25.3 billion euros, or 300 million less than in the previous quarter, customs said on Wednesday.
The balance “is increasing at a rate much lower than the strong increases of the three previous quarters,” customs detailed in a press release. “The trade balance nevertheless remains much worse than in the pre-Covid period”, with a quarterly average of 14.4 billion in 2019, while being 23 billion lower than its lowest recorded a year ago, note customs . For the period from July to September, if exports and imports similarly decline by 1.4%, the latter “decrease further” in absolute value, Customs specified. In detail, France exported 152 billion euros worth of goods and imported 177.2 billion euros. “The decline in exports is mainly driven by that of manufactured products” and, “to a much lesser extent, by the decline in energy exports,” explain customs, noting “dynamic sales in the 2nd quarter of construction products aeronautics and space and ships and boats”.
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On the import side, the decline is “mainly” due to manufactured products (textiles-clothing, leather and shoes, chemical products), as well as “to a lesser extent” mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment. Over twelve months cumulative until the end of September, France's trade deficit on trade in goods stood at 121.9 billion euros, an improvement of 31.6 billion euros compared to the previous twelve months. . In 2022, it peaked at a record amount of 164 billion euros, weighed down by the cost of energy imported from abroad by France. In terms of trade in services, France recorded a surplus of 8.0 billion euros in the third quarter, less than the previous quarter (10.2 billion euros), according to the Banque de France, "mainly under the effect of the decline in the travel surplus. This “nevertheless remains at a high level” and remains higher than the corresponding quarter of 2019, before the Covid pandemic.
In total, the balance of current transactions for the three months (an indicator which includes both exchanges of goods, services and income) is in deficit of 5.9 billion euros, specifies the French central bank, after -5 .5 billion between April and June.