French industrial production rebounded in May as a fall in the value of the euro against the dollar made life easier for exporters. France is the second largest economy in the euro zone and the region has had to rely on exports to support economic growth due to weak domestic consumer demand. Production at French factories, utilities and mines increased by 0.3% compared with April, when it was down by the same amount. That is the first rise since January. But overall output is still down 0.2% from May last year. Manufacturing production rose by 0.5% from the month before. Car makers’ output dropped by 1.4% after having gone up by 1.7% in the previous month. Manufacturing of consumer goods fell 0.3%, while production of capital goods, such as planes and machines, increased 1.7%. The figures will be encouraging for French Finance Minister Thierry Breton who last week predicted a rebound. French companies continue to cut jobs and move production to lower-cost countries. French unemployment rose in May, keeping the jobless rate at 10.2%, its highest level in more than five years.
Euro's fall helps French industrial production gain