France’s industrial production continued to decline in September, signaling a slowdown in the eurozone’s second-largest economy.
Production Dips by 0.5%
According to figures published by French statistics office Insee, production dipped by 0.5% compared to the previous month. Economists had expected a 0.2% increase, according to a Wall Street Journal poll. The output for August was revised slightly upward from an initial estimate of -0.3% to -0.1%.
Most Sectors See Declining Output
Insee reported that most industrial sectors experienced declining monthly output in September. The automotive and other-transportation sectors fell by 5.8% and 3.2% respectively, with the latter reversing the positive trend seen in the previous month. The food-production and extractive industries also recorded falling output, while other industrial products saw slight increases. The refinery business experienced accelerating production.
Energy-Intensive Industries Hit Hard
Energy-intensive industries, including steel and chemical production, continue to face significant declines in output due to higher energy costs. These sectors experienced double-digit falls compared to the same period in 2021, prior to last year’s energy crisis.
Stagnation in the French Economy
The lower industrial output adds to signs of stagnation in the French economy, which nearly ground to a halt in the third quarter according to recent data. Economists are concerned that the economy could slow further as domestic demand cools and exports falter.