Coronavirus: The Industry struggles to bounce back in France

After advancing nearly 4% in July, industrial production slowed in August to post an increase of just 1.3%. With the exception of the agrifood industries, no branch of activity has so far returned to its pre-crisis and containment level.


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After increasing by 3.8% in July, French industrial production only grew by 1.3% in August, according to figures released on Friday by INSEE . A situation that is also relevant in the manufacturing sector alone with an increase of only 1% in August.

These figures, put together with the other statistics published in recent days draw the same scenario: that of a recovery in activity which, after great strength at the beginning of the summer, is now proving less dynamic. Compared with February, the month preceding the start of containment, production is actually down in the manufacturing industry (−7.4%), as in industry as a whole (−6.3% ).

The winners and losers of the recovery

What is more, the recovery does not benefit all industries equally. And the figures from INSEE make it possible to publish a first list of the losers and winners of the recovery.

The prize for the winners of the recovery undoubtedly goes to the agrifood industries which now display a level of activity 2% higher than that before containment. But it is true that production in this sector had fallen less and had returned to a level close to before containment as early as June-July.

The other branches of activity have not yet managed to regain the lost ground. However, activity has recovered and is now approaching its pre-crisis level in metallurgy and metal products (−3.5%), rubber, plastic and non-metallic minerals (−2.2%).

On the other hand, compared to the pre-containment, production is still in “clear decline” in transport equipment (−18.4%), coking and refining (−17.4%) or even manufacturing of capital goods (−9.4%).

Claude Fouquet

Source Lesechos

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