Well, industrial output in France, while struggling, does continue to some extent to resist the downward trend. Industrial production in France rose in December, helped by gains in auto manufacturing and energy, helping avoid a decline in the quarter.
Production at factories, utilities and mines, which account for 15 percent of the economy, added 0.7 percent to output from November, when it dropped strongly, by a revised 1.7 percent, according to the national statistics bureau, Insee, earlier today. Obviously after Novembers sharp fall, some revound was only to be expected.
Industrial output in what is the eurozone's second-largest economy has fallen in six of the last 12 months, highlighting the way companies' are struggling to maintain competitiveness in the face of the high euro. Evidence for import substitution is everywhere, and the trade deficit widened to a record in December. Year on year total industrial output - including energy - rose 2.4 percent.
The auto-production increase followed a surge in car sales. December car and light-truck sales jumped 17 percent to 220,094. Car production added 3.5 percent in December. Production of consumer goods, though, slumped for a second month, declining by 0.4 percent in December following a 1.9 percent plunge in November.