French industrial output rises less than expected

French industrial output rises less than expected

Paris (AFP) - Industrial production in France rebounded in August after two months of declines, propped up by a big turnaround in the auto industry, official data showed.

The French INSEE statistics institute said industrial production edged up 0.2 percent in August from output the month before, driven by a 19.5-percent jump in auto sector activity.

But BNP Paribas analyst Dominique Barbet said the pick-up in August was "disappointing" with economist tabling for a 0.6 percent rise for the month.

While all indications were pointing to an upward turn in the business cycle, this latest data "showed that French manufacturing is still on a falling trend, despite structural reforms," Barbet said.

Unicredit analyst Tulia Bucco said that the jump in automobile output "compensated marked weakness in all the other sectors, save farming" and indicated that overall growth in France will remain sluggish.

Official forecasts last week said France was on track to achieve a modest 0.2 percent growth this year.

France exited recession in the second quarter of the year with economic growth of 0.5 percent.