In December of 2012, imports rose to 43.18 billion euros, driven in part by purchases of computer equipment, clothes and toys. Exports rose to 37.79 billion euros over the month, primarily driven by intermediate goods, chemicals, metals and plastics.
In 2012, France reduced its trade deficit to 67 billion euros from a record 74 billion euros in 2011 as exports grew faster than imports. The improvement, the first on an annual basis since 2009, came even though France's energy import bill rose by 7 billion euros last year to 69 billion euros. Exports rose 3.2 percent over the year, while imports increased only 1.3 percent.