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France posts a trade deficit despite good results from the luxury sector

France posts a trade deficit despite good results from the luxury sector

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While the French luxury goods industry is showing good export results in 2022, France has a record foreign trade deficit. The government is counting on the reindustrialization plan -France 2030- and on the dissemination of the export culture, to redress the situation in the future.


The results of French economic showcases are often used to illustrate France’s economic influence. In early February, the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, congratulated the CAC 40 companies on their success. But the performance of the giants overshadows the foreign trade deficit, one of the key markers of the country’s competitiveness.


Certain sectors, starting with the luxury goods industry, have seen their French flagships continue to grow in power and shine on the international stage.


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But this has not prevented the disappearance of several industrial sectors. The consequences are direct: less activity and an economic stall of France leading to an increased dependence on imports.


Record trade deficit


In 2022, the trade deficit in goods broke an all-time record. For the first time, it exceeded 160 billion euros, or precisely 163.8 billion euros ! According to INSEE figures, France has had a chronic deficit in its trade in goods with the rest of the world for exactly 20 years, with the last trade surplus dating back to 2002. The 2022 economic reports, however, point to a record surplus of 50 billion euros if we add up certain virtuous sectors, including the luxury industry. The perfume and cosmetics industry alone recorded a surplus of 15 billion euros, beverages, 16 billion euros and aeronautics, 23.5 billion euros.


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