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

French industrial production rebounds strongly

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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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