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French trade deficit cut by nearly 9 percent: minister

PARIS -- France cut a crippling trade deficit by nearly nine percent last year partly due to falling imports, official data showed on Friday in figures that contrasted starkly with a record surplus in Germany.

A trade surplus is a vital factor of growth in an economy, but France has developed a chronic structural deficit in recent years.

Correcting this is a top priority for the Socialist-Green government, which is moving towards reducing charges on companies and cutting deeply into public spending to contain the overall tax burden.

The latest data for France, the second-biggest eurozone economy, showed that in 2013 the trade deficit fell by 6.0 billion euros to 61.2 billion euros (US$83.2 billion), Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said.

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