France's chemical production falls 1.7% in Feb from Jan – agency

10 April 2012 16:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--France’s chemical production fell 1.7% in February from January as the country’s overall manufacturing output declined because of cold weather, a statistics agency said on Tuesday.

February’s decline in chemical production came after a 4.4% increase in January from December, the l'Institut national de la statistique (Insee) said.

On a three-month sequential comparison - December-February 2011/2012 against September-November 2011 - France’s chemical production was up 2.0%, Insee said.

Meanwhile, production of plastics and rubber products fell 6.7% in February from the previous month.

Overall French manufacturing output was down 1.2% in February from January. Insee attributed January’s decline to cold weather conditions.

In January, manufacturing output fell 0.1% from December. On the three-month sequential comparison, manufacturing output was down 1.1%.

However, February’s overall industrial output was up 0.3%, driven by increased consumption of electricity and natural gas amid the cold weather, the agency said.

On the three month sequential comparison, overall industrial production was down 0.5%.

Compared with the three month period from December to February in 2010/2011, manufacturing output was down 1.6% year on year and overall industrial production was down 1.7% year on year.

In related news on Tuesday, France's central bank, La Banque de France, estimated that there was no sequential growth in the country’s GDP in the first quarter of 2012. The bank forecasts “stable economic activity” for the coming months, it said.

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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