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July 10, 2020, 2:50 a.m. EDT

French industrial production rebounds strongly

By Xavier Fontdegloria

French industrial production increased sharply on month in May as lockdowns were eased and factories reopened, data from France's statistics agency Insee showed Friday.

Total industrial output--comprising output in manufacturing, energy and construction--rose 19.6% in May from April in calendar-adjusted terms. Economists had forecast a 12.5% increase in May, according to a poll by Dow Jones Newswires.

In April, amid a harsh lockdown to contain the coronavirus, industrial production fell by a downwardly revised 20.6% compared with March.

Compared with February, the last month before the coronavirus hit Europe, total industrial output fell 21.2% in calendar-adjusted terms.

Manufacturing output--excluding energy and construction--was up 22% in May compared with April, while energy production grew 9.2% and construction skyrocketed 118.5%.

The French industrial-sector data comes after German and Spanish industrial production figures showed a rebound earlier this week, posting a 7.8% and a 14.7% increase in May, respectively.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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