France: new trade deficit record at 15.5 billion euros in August, according to customs

The French trade balance has deteriorated by one billion euros compared to that of July.

France’s trade deficit set a new record in August at 15.5 billion euros, customs said on Friday, due to a further rise in the energy bill among imports. The French trade balance has deteriorated by one billion euros compared to that of July, when the deficit reached 14.5 billion euros.

Cumulatively over twelve months, the deficit also posted a record, at 139 billion euros, under the effect of a continuous deterioration in monthly figures since the end of 2020. Overall, French imports have seen their cost increase from 1.1 billion euros to 65.6 billion. Opposite, exports increased only slightly, by 100 million euros, reaching 50.1 billion euros.

The energy bill cost an additional 800 million euros in August, customs said, and widened the French balance on energy to 11 billion euros in deficit in August. Imports of electricity and gas continue to become more expensive for France, while energy exports are stable, specify customs. Energy prices have been very strongly affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine since the end of February, a situation which has resulted in an explosion in gas prices as well as a surge in oil prices.

Excluding energy, the French trade deficit still fell, but less sharply, to 6.7 billion euros against 6.5 billion the previous month. As for the balance of payments, which includes trade in services, the current account deficit stood at 5.1 billion in August, against 5.3 billion euros the previous month, detailed the Banque de France on Friday.

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