France: industrial production fell in September

Posted Nov 4, 2022, 10:35 AMUpdated Nov 4, 2022, 4:26 PM

French industry has approached the start of the school year in good shape. According to INSEE, in fact, as a whole, industrial production in France fell by 0.8% in September, after having rebounded by 2.7% in August (a figure revised upwards by 0.3 points).

In the manufacturing field alone, the decline is less marked. Production fell just 0.4%. It had increased by 3% a month earlier (a figure also revised upwards by INSEE).

Generalized decline in September

In detail, depression affects all sectors of activity. The decline observed in September is largely due to a decline “in most major branches” and in particular in automobile production, which fell by 5.5% after a “very dynamic month of August” (+16 .4%), detailed Insee.

Industrial production also fell “significantly” in coking and refining (-6.6%, after +4.8% in August), as in extractive industries (-4.4%, against +1.3 %) and the water and sanitation sector (-7.5%, against +1.8%). In comparison, “other industrial products” (-0.3%, after +2.7%) and agri-food industries (-0.3%, after +0.2%) are doing rather well.

Quarterly increase

If the future is more and more uncertain for growth, which slowed down in the third quarter, all is not totally black however in the figures published this Friday morning. Notably because on an annual basis, industrial activity remains in the green. And shows some resistance.

Overall, production rose by 0.7% in the third quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2021. In the manufacturing sector alone, the increase reached 2.6%. A difference which is above all “the sharp drop in energy production”, according to INSEE.

Better for the car

At the same time, activity in the manufacturing sector is driven by the dynamism of the transport branch (up 11%) which is essentially due to the fact that the automotive industry is recovering there. The activity, “less affected than a year ago by the difficulties in supplying electronic components, even if the latter persist” according to INSEE, there indeed jumped by 23%.

Still on an annual basis, production also increased in “other industrial products” (+1.3%) as well as in capital goods (+4.3%). The very strong increase of 26% observed in the coking-refining sector is good news to put into perspective. It is indeed largely due to a base effect linked to the fact that the level of activity was, a year ago, “particularly low” due to “refinery shutdowns”.

On the other hand, production fell sharply in the extractive industries, energy, water (-9.1%), mainly due to the drop in electricity production, explains INSEE again. It also fell, but very slightly (-0.5%) in the food industry.

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