French threw up a nasty surprise

Airbus A380 factory Tianjin China

Damir Sangolj/Reuters

French industrial production was below expectations.

France's industrial production fell 0.8% year-on-year - down from a 0.6% rise in February, according to new figures released on Tuesday.

This is below economic forecasts of a 0.5% expansion.

Meanwhile, manufacturing production contracted 1.1% year-on-year, much lower than the expected 1.2% rise. It's France's worst industrial contraction since 2014.
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It mirrors Germany, whose industrial production contracted 1.3% in March. On the plus side, German exports enjoyed an uptick, rising 1.9%.

Germany's Economy Ministry remained positive, saying the export figures suggested things were looking up:

"The industrial sector has overcome its foreign trade related weak phase of the second half of 2015," it said. "The economic trend in the industrial sector is currently pointing upward."
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