French industry suffers worst contraction since September

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Industrial production in the eurozone’s second largest economy contracted at its worst monthly pace in six months in February.

France’s month-on-month production fell by a surprise 1.6 per cent, with January’s figures also revised down to -0.5 from -0.2 per cent. Industrial production accounts for just under 20 per cent of the French economy.

France’s industrial fortunes are in stark contrast to Germany, where monthly production has roared since the start of the year, rising by 2.2 per cent over January and February.

Still, despite investor jitters about the prospect of a Marine Le Pen victory in presidential elections this month, survey data suggests the broader French economy has been holding up well.

A key business survey from IHS Markit’s purchasing manager’s index show French businesses are in their best health since the eurozone crisis six years ago.

First chart via Bloomberg

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