October 5, 2018 / 6:49 AM / in 14 days

French trade deficit widens more than expected in August

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s trade deficit widened more than expected in August as aircraft exports fell and the energy bill rose, seasonally adjusted data published on Friday by the customs office showed.

FILE PHOTO: General view of the skyline of La Defense business district behind Paris landmark the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees Avenue, France, January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

France recorded a trade deficit of 5.6 billion euros ($6.45 billion), after 3.4 billion euros in July. A Reuters poll of seven economists had forecast on average a shortfall of 4.5 billion euros.

The customs office said that imports surged 4.9 percent in August from July due mainly to an increase in France’s energy bill while exports dipped 0.1 percent as Airbus shipments pulled back after a strong July.

Separately, the central bank said the current account showed a deficit of 1.6 billion euros in August after a surplus of 300 million euros in July owing to the larger trade deficit and a smaller services surplus.

($1 = 0.8686 euros)

Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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