the trade deficit soars to 164 billion euros in 2022, a new record

France’s trade deficit in goods soared to a historic record of 164 billion euros in 2022, weighed down by soaring energy prices, the Ministry of Foreign Trade announced on Tuesday. The deficit on goods almost doubled from the previous record of 84.7 billion euros reached in 2021, mainly due to a more than doubling of import energy prices, the report said. ministry during a press conference. On the other hand, a record surplus was generated by services.

“An extremely large deficit”

“We are unfortunately in the continuity of previous years”, commented the Minister of Foreign Trade Olivier Becht during a press conference, acknowledging “an extremely large deficit” on goods, while rejoicing at the record surplus services. France has been in chronic deficit for twenty years, the last French trade surplus on goods dating back to 2002 according to INSEE figures.

The minister, however, highlighted the cost of the energy bill against a backdrop of soaring prices linked to the war in Ukraine and disturbances in the French nuclear fleet which forced France to import electricity. These import energy prices were multiplied by 2.1 compared to the previous year. “Unsurprisingly, this impacts our balance of goods in about the same way,” said Olivier Becht.

An energy bill that has doubled

On gas alone, import prices rose 248% to 59 billion euros, helping to more than double the energy bill last year to 115 billion euros. In addition to the soaring prices of raw materials, including energy but also metals and agri-food, the government blames the depreciation of the euro against the dollar last year and the tensions on supply chains. to justify the poor figures for 2022.

Among the dynamic sectors are the automobile, whose exports have almost returned to their 2019 level, aeronautics and space, perfumes and cosmetics, and agricultural products. Regarding services, France recorded a record surplus of 50 billion euros after 36 billion the previous year, benefiting from a clear recovery in tourism and a very good performance of maritime transport. The income balance (including financial services) was also in surplus (by 31 billion euros). The balance of goods, services and income shows a current account deficit after a surplus last year.

Source: Europe1

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