French industry tumbles at start of 2024

A view of Paris
A view of Paris Copyright Canva
By Euronews
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Insee said the 1.1% decline was largely due to significantly lower output in the transportation and automotive sectors.

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France's industrial production fell further than expected at the beginning of the year, as the country's economy struggles to return to full strength amid the cost of living crisis.

Total production across industries slumped by 1.1% in January compared to the previous month, according to new figures from Insee, France's statistical office.

This is after economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal had forecast a drop of just 0.1%, as reported by both news outlets.

Insee said the 1.1% decline was largely due to significantly lower output in the transportation (-5.3%, down from 1.6%) and automotive (-4.8%, down from 3.8%) sectors.

On the flip side, food output rose slightly (1.5%, up from 1.4%) and the likes of energy and water did even more so (1.6%, up from -0.3%), according to Insee.

The statistical office also said that December's result meanwhile had been revised down to a 0.4% increase from the previous 1.1%.

Insee previously warned that the December figures were likely to be changed, as it usually boosts end-of-year results to compensate for workers taking holidays in December; this year, however, a high proportion of days off were planned in January.

Tuesday's figures come a week after Insee revealed that consumer confidence in France has also seen a sharp downturn, as standard of living expectations drop and citizens feel more and more pessimistic about their financial situation.

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