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French trade deficit narrows in December to 3.9b euros

[PARIS] France's trade deficit narrowed more than expected in December to 3.9 billion euros (US$4.36 billion), seasonally adjusted data published on Friday by the customs office showed.

A Reuters poll of five economists had an average forecast for a deficit of 4.4 billion euros.

The deficit was pared from 4.527 billion euros in November, revised from an initial reading of 4.63 billion, and was the smallest since September.

The customs office said imports of aeronautics materials and chemical products had fallen in December, while exports of aerospace and space goods held up.

For the whole of the year, the trade deficit came to 45.670 billion euros, the lowest since 2009.

Separately, the Bank of France reported that the current account balance showed a deficit of 700 million euros in December after 1.5 billion in November.