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French Trade Deficit Widens

French Trade Deficit WidensFrench Trade Deficit Widens

France's trade deficit widened unexpectedly in March as import growth outpaced that of exports amid a dearth of aircraft sales, seasonally-adjusted data published on Friday by the customs office showed, Reuters reported. The trade balance showed a deficit of €5.3 billion ($6.34 billion) in March after a gap of €5 billion in February, the customs office said. Economists had forecast on average a deficit of €4.9 billion. Imports bounced back 0.8% in March after slumping in February while exports grew only 0.4% despite the sale of a cruise ship and a spike in pharmaceuticals sales to the United States and Switzerland. The customs office said that aircraft and satellite sales had fallen to the lowest level since August 2014 as Airbus deliveries fell due to temporary production difficulties. Separately, the central bank said that current account deficit widened in March to €1.3 billion from a revised shortfall of €900 million in February, citing in particular a drop in the surplus for services.

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