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Financial News: France Industrial Production Declines Sharply In March

France Industrial Production Declines Sharply In March

05/07/2020 - 03:56:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - France industrial and manufacturing output declined sharply in March as the spread of coronavirus, or covid-19, disrupted functioning of factories and supply chains, data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday.

Another report from Insee showed that manufactures are forecasting investment to fall more than previously projected this year largely due to lower investment in the transport equipment.

Industrial production plunged 16.2 percent month-on-month, in contrast to February's 0.8 percent rise. Output was expected to fall 12.4 percent in March.

Likewise, manufacturing output declined 18.2 percent after rising 0.9 percent a month ago.

The monthly fall was largely driven by a 35.9 percent decrease in transport equipment production and 34.3 percent fall in refined petroleum products output.

Mining and quarrying output decreased 4.1 percent, while construction output logged a sharp reduction of 40.1 percent in March.

In the first quarter, industrial output was down 5.6 percent and manufacturing decreased 6.1 percent from the previous quarter.

Business managers forecast investment to drop 7 percent in nominal terms in 2020, the Insee said in a separate communique. Industrialists downgraded their January estimate by 10 points. They have estimated investment to grow 3 percent in 2019.

At the end of the first quarter, private sector payroll employment dropped 2.3 percent or 453,800 job losses, as a result of crisis caused by coronavirus pandemic, flash data from Insee showed.

On a yearly basis, employment decreased 1.4 percent, which was -274,900. It returned to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2017, Insee said.

Excluding temporary workers, payroll employment fell 0.9 percent or -162,000 jobs. Temporary employment fell considerably by 37.0 percent compared to the end of 2019.

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