|France trade deficit narrows
France cut its trade deficit in November to 4.3 billion euros (US$43.9 billion), down from 4.7 billion euros in October, Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said on Tuesday.
The customs service said later that, overall, EU exports and imports, particularly Germany, had fallen sharply over three months, AFP reports.
There had also been a marked fall of trade with the United States in refined products and with the Middle East in crude oil.
A trade surplus contributes to growth in a country, as in the case of Germany, France's main trading partner in the European Union which has a strong external trade account.
A trade deficit reduces any overall growth in an economy.
For several years France has developed a huge structural trade deficit.
The government is attempting to address the problem of high production costs by switching some social taxes from businesses to a wider tax base.
The customs service said that in the 12 months to the end of November the trade balance had shown a cumulative deficit of 65.826 billion euros, down from 74.203 billion euros in 2011.
In the three months from September to November exports were up marginally by 0.2 percent from the figure for the three months to October, to 36.494 billion euros. On a 12-month comparison they gained by 2.2 percent.