France and Germany Look Ahead to Fourth-Quarter Growth

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The latest economic data from Europe┬ápaint a mixed picture for the region’s two largest economies, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Germany and France have historically been the two centerpieces of the European Union, posing as the area’s two largest economies and also headlining the region’s policies during the recent crisis and recession. Today, many see Germany as a nation that has led the path to recovery, the economic jewel of a eurozone in which many members are still struggling to turn things around. Meanwhile, France has been putting up a series of lackluster economic results, including lagging sentiment indexes and a sagging credit rating.

However, the latest round of numbers shows that the two countries may reverse course slightly moving toward the year’s end. In Germany, industrial production dropped by 1.2 percent in October, representing a decline across several major sectors. In addition, the country’s trade surplus narrowed to 16.8 billion euros in October from 18.7 billion euros in September. Both of these indicators hint that Germany’s economy may be slowing down in the final quarter of this year.

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