French trade deficit widens in August

PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) - France's trade deficit widened in August as an improvement in the country's export performance was offset by a sharp, energy-driven jump in imports, data from the customs office showed on Tuesday.

The gap between imports and exports climbed to 5.3 billion euros ($6.9 billion) over the month of August from a revised figure of 4.1 billion in July.

July's deficit had previously been given as 4.3 billion euros.

Exports rose to 38.17 billion euros from 36.829 billion, helped by strong sales of Airbus aircraft, which totalled 2.303 billion euros compared with 1.646 billion euros in July.

But imports climbed to 43.456 billion euros from 40.891 billion a month earlier, as energy purchases rebounded compared with July. Total purchases of petrol products rose to 2.995 billion euros from 2.360 billion, while imports of power and hydrocarbons increased to 5.423 billion euros, from 4.968 billion euros in July.

($1 = 0.7711 euros)

(Reporting By Vicky Buffery. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

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