French economy under added pressure on weak data

Fresh economic data out of France has lumped further pressure on the stagnating economy after it undershot expectations for industrial production.

Figures released today show French industrial production fell 0.8 per cent in October in spite of widespread expectations by economists there would be a small 0.2 per cent month-on-month gain.

Manufacturing data was also weak, with production by the sector falling 0.2 per cent in October, and last month’s 0.6 per cent gain being revised down to 0.3 per cent.

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French industrial production is now 1 per cent lower than it was a year ago, and manufacturing production 0.6 per cent smaller – both figures being worse than expected.

The French economy has only narrowly avoided entering a technical recession - two consecutive quarters of negative growth - this year.

Data in November from Insee, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, showed the French economy grew 0.3 per cent in the third quarter.

This was a significant improvement from the 0.1 per cent contraction in the second quarter - a figure was revised downwards from 0 per cent - and zero growth in the first three months of the year.