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French trade deficit widened in June, at highest level in over a year

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PARIS (Reuters) – France’s trade deficit widened in June from the previous month to reach its highest level since February 2017, according to seasonally adjusted data published by the customs office, as the euro zone’s second-biggest economy shows signs of slowing.

The June trade deficit stood at 6.25 billion euros (£5.59 billion), compared to 6.02 billion in May. A Reuters poll of six analysts had given an average forecast for a June deficit of 5.5 billion euros.

The June deficit figure was the biggest since the deficit reached 6.5 billion euros back in February 2017.

The French economy has started to display evidence of a slowdown after initially recovering following President Emmanuel Macron’s election in May 2017.

The INSEE national statistics agency forecast in June that France’s economy would grow 1.7 percent this year as a whole, down from a decade high of 2.3 percent last year, due to higher oil prices and uncertainty about protectionism in global trade.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Brian Love)

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