Low sales abroad and soaring costs of imported petroleum and industrial products drove France's trade deficit up to 5.2 billion euros (5.91 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of February from 3.9 billion euros registered a month earlier, customs figures showed on Thursday.
"Imports are growing significantly mainly due to strong supplies of automotive, aerospace industries, industrial equipment and refined petroleum. However, the level of exports declined slightly," French customs said in a statement.
The country's total imports stood at 43.3 billion euros at the end of February, up by 2.8 percent compared to January data while exports inched down to 38.1 billion euros despite growing aeronautic sales, they added.
France has sold 21 Airbus aircraft worth 2.14 billion euros over the period versus 14 units whose value totaled 1.48 billion euros.
For the past 12 months, the cumulated trade deficit was at 47.5 billion euros in total compared to 45.6 billion euros in 2015. (1 euro=1.14 U.S. dollars)