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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

French Exports Drop in May 2008

France's trade deficit widened in May to a record as the stronger euro and slowing economic growth led to a decline in exports. The deficit rose to 4.74 billion euros ($7.45 billion) from a revised 3.74 billion euros in April, the Trade Ministry in Paris said today. Exports in May fell to 34.7 billion euros from a revised 35.3 billion euros in April, with exports to the U.S. leading the decline. Imports rose to 39.5 billion euros from a revised 39.1 billion euros in April.

Europe's third-biggest economy will probably grow by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2008, the least in almost two years and a third of the pace in the first three months, according to the initial estimate of Paris-based statistics office Insee. The economy will stagnate in the third quarter and grow 0.2 percent in the final three months of 2008, Insee said.

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