France's foreign trade balance in 2005 - Foreign goods take a firmer hold on French market
Exports of goods and services in 2005 increased at approximately the same rate as in 2004, in terms of both yearly average and value. French exporters, however, are still some way behind the largest growth markets, with a marked slowdown in the sales volume of manufactured goods, and a decline in automobile sales volume. Imports in value terms have increased as a result of the surge in petrol prices, whilst the volume of purchases has also risen extremely rapidly. There is high domestic demand for competitively priced imported products. The balance of trade is negative, as is the balance of trade for manufactured products alone. France's energy bill reached 37.4 billion euros. The surplus from tourism and the balance from distributive transactions continue to shrink. France's borrowing requirement has thus reached 35 billion euros.