Eurozone output posts 3rd monthly fall in November
Berlin (dpa) – Industrial production in the 17-member eurozone slumped for the third consecutive month in November, data released Monday showed, adding to signs that the region’s economy slowed sharply toward the end of last year.
The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said output in the currency bloc unexpectedly fell month on month by 0.3 per cent in November after the debt crisis drove the region into recession during the third quarter.
Analysts had forecast a modest gain of 0.2 per cent after it fell by one per cent in October. Output contracted by a hefty 2.3 per cent in October.
“November’s eurozone industrial production data provided further strong signs that the recession in the region as a whole intensified in the final quarter of last year,” said Ben May, European analyst with the London-based Capital Economics research group.
Countries at the centre of the eurozone debt crisis continued to post some of the biggest falls.
Output slumped 3.4 per cent in November in Portugal, 1.1 per cent in Ireland and 1.5 per cent in Greece.
Industrial production was down 2.5 per cent month on month in Spain and 7.2 per cent on the year.
Italian industrial production fell by a bigger-than-forecast one per cent from October to November.
Output was down by 7.6 per cent compared with November 2011.
The grim set of figures are likely to weigh down on Italy’s struggle to emerge from a prolonged recession.
The poor state of the economy is a key issue in the campaign for elections due on February 24-25.
November industrial production for the whole of the eurozone shrunk by 3.7 per cent when compared with the same month in 2011, Eurostat said.
This represented its biggest fall since the end of 2009.
Output in the 27-member EU also fell month on month by 0.3 per cent in November. It was down 3.3 per cent on the year.