Friday, February 28, 2003

Eurozone Manufacturing Continues its Decline

Industrial production in the eurozone suffered its biggest monthly drop on record in December, confirming some hefty output falls shown at national level. Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, registered a month-on-month fall of 2.4 per cent in December. France, the second largest, was down 1.7 per cent. Portugal was the only member to manage a monthly rise. It gained 0.7 per cent.

Eurostat, the EU statistics office, reported a month-on-month fall of 1.5 per cent and an annual fall of 0.5 per cent in the harmonised figure for the eurozone. This was worse than many analysts had feared and represented a sharp fall from November's revised 0.7 per cent rise in the monthly figure and 2.8 per cent annual gain. Ian Stannard of BNP Paribas said the outlook was looking increasingly gloomy for Germany and therefore also for the eurozone. "The Association of German trade and manufacturing (DIHT) has acknowledged that the country is slipping into recession," he said. "The significant reduction of December industrial production points in the same direction, and if Germany slips into recession, side effects in euroland must be feared."
Source: Financial Times

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