France's trade deficit widened in June, bringing the first-half total to nearly 30 billion euros and adding to concerns about stalling growth in the eurozone's second-largest economy.
The difference between imports and exports widened in June to 5.4 billion euros ($7.2 billion) from 5.1 billion euros in May, customs data showed on Thursday.
That takes the total trade gap for the first six months of 2014 to 29.2 billion euros.
For France that is nothing new: the country has posted a trade deficit every month for the past decade, and the last time it posted a full-year surplus was in 2002.
But the figures add to concerns that growth in in France is weakening and will not be enough for Paris to cut its lumbering public debt pile this year.
Frederik Ducrozet at Credit Agricole said the trade gap was smaller because imports were falling, rather than because exports were rising, "which suggests that domestic demand is weakening".
"Our results in terms of trade have less to do with external factors than our own domestic weakness," he said.
French Trade Secretary Fleur Pellerin said in an interview with Le Figaro published Thursday that while the deficit is not "satisfactory," it was still the lowest for a half year since 2010.
In the full year, she said the government still expects to cut France's deficit to 53 billion euros, from 60 billion last year and the record 74 billion hit in 2011.
France has long been seen by economists as a weak link in the eurozone's recovery from its debt crisis, and its efforts to cut unemployment and boost industry have had little effect.
But news that Italy slipped into recession in the second quarter has sparked fresh concerns about the health of the eurozone, particularly given concerns about the impact of the crisis in Ukraine.
Ludovic Subran, chief economist at credit insurer Euler Hermes, said the "shock" of weak demand from Italy is already hurting France, while it is not competitive enough to access the key growth markets of Britain and Germany.