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05.07.2019 14:54

France's trade deficit fell sharply in May

Ministry for the Economy and Finance said the balance improved sharply, from -4.9 billion euros (revised figure) in April 2019 to -3.3 billion euros in May 2019, an increase of 1.6 billion euros. It reached its highest level since the outstanding point of December 2017, driven by buoyant exports of military equipment, aerospace products and pharmaceuticals.

In May 2019, exports grew strongly (+ € 2.0 billion, or + 4.6%), after the decline in April (- € 0.9 billion or -2.1%). This marked rebound is due in particular to the peak of deliveries of military equipment, which doubled compared to April and reached their highest level over the last 15 years, as well as by the sharp increase in deliveries of aerospace products (+ 10.5%) and pharmaceuticals (+ 13.4%). At the same time, imports increased slightly (+ € 0.3 billion, or + 0.8%), after the decline in April (- € 1.3 billion or -2.7%): acquisitions of pharmaceuticals (+ 11.9%) and aerospace products (+ 8.3%) were mitigated by the further decline in energy supplies (-3.0% after-6.5%).

On average over 3 months, the balance progressed for the second consecutive month after falling the two previous months. This increase is explained by a decline in imports combined with stable exports over the period.

Cumulative over the last 12 months, the balance is recovering in May after slightly fluctuating during the second half of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. It reached -54.6 billion euros against-59.2 billion euros in 2018 and -58.1 billion euros in 2017


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