France Industrial Production Growth Beats Expectations

French industrial production rose more than expected in December as manufacturing was boosted by the strong growth in the transport equipment segment, preliminary data from the statistical office INSEE showed Friday.

The industrial production index rose 1.1 percent from November, when it grew 2.0 percent. Economists were looking for a 0.2 percent increase.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent month-on-month after a 2.4 percent gain in November.

A strong rise of 8.3 percent, which followed stability in the previous month, in the manufacture of transport equipment underpinned the factory output growth at the end of 2022.

In the mining, quarrying, energy and water supply group, output jumped 6.0 percent after a 0.3 percent fall in November, led by a sharp increase both in the production of electricity and in the distribution of gaseous fuels.

Read more: France Inflation Accelerates To 6.0%

Meanwhile, output dropped 3.3 percent in the manufacture of machinery and equipment goods after a 4.9 percent growth in the previous month. Production of food products and beverages decreased 1.7 percent following a 0.4 percent growth in the previous month.

In the fourth quarter, the overall industrial production decreased 0.2 percent year-on-year, driven by a fall in energy output. Manufacturing grew 2.6 percent frm a year ago.

France’s manufacturing sector returned to positive territory in January as the demand downturn lost strength and employment registered a rebound, results of the S&P Global purchasing managers’ survey showed earlier this week.

The final manufacturing PMI climbed above the neuteral 50-mark to reach 50.5 from 49.2 in the previous month.

The French economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent in the previous three months, on the back of a slump in domestic demand that was led by a steep fall in household consumption and weaker investments, which was partially offset by trade.

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