The global shortage of semiconductors that has been plaguing the automobile industry is helping drive industrial production lower in France, data showed Monday. Manufacturing of motor vehicles fell by 7.9 percent in May from the previous month “due to shortages of raw materials in the automotive industry”, the national statistics agency INSEE said. That helped drag down overall industrial production by 0.3 percent during the month. Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns caused a shift in consumer spending towards electronics and a spike in demand for the semiconductor chips that run them. Modern automobiles can use dozens of such chips in their various electronics systems, and carmakers have had to slow or idle factories when they have run out of supplies. French motor vehicle production was down 29.2 percent in May from its level in February 2020, just before the pandemic lockdowns began. Overall, French industrial production was 5.6 percent lower from its pre-pandemic level.