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Eurozone industrial production falls unexpectedly in June

Industrial production in the eurozone fell by 0.3 percent in June, official data showed on Wednesday (Aug 13), dragged lower by a drop in the output of consumer goods and energy.

BRUSSELS: Industrial production in the eurozone fell by 0.3 per cent in June, official data showed on Wednesday (Aug 13), dragged lower by a drop in the output of consumer goods and energy. The result was significantly below analyst expectations, and the news - the latest sign that recovery of the eurozone economy is faltering - pushed down the euro against the dollar.

Analysts had expected expansion of 0.3 per cent for the period, and the data followed a 1.1-per cent fall a month earlier. Over 12 months, production in the 18-country bloc was flat.

"This is a very disappointing figure after the already strong contraction in May (caused by additional holidays in some countries)," said analyst Peter Vanden Houte from ING Bank in Brussels. "For the quarter as whole, industrial production contracted by 0.4 per cent, which doesn't bode well for second quarter GDP growth to be published tomorrow (where) a growth figure of 0.2 per cent now seems to be out of reach," he added.

The drop-off in production was caused mainly by a 1.9-per cent drop from non-durable goods and a 0.7 per cent fall in energy. "Looking ahead, survey measures continue to point to only sluggish industrial production growth at the start of Q3, adding to signs that the wider euro-zone recovery may have already peaked," said Jessica Hinds of European economist for Capital Economics.

Broken down by country, the strongest drops were seen in the eurozone periphery with a sharp drop of 16.5 per cent in Ireland. The Netherlands fell by 3.0 per cent. Germany eked out a gain of 0.2 per cent, while France rose by 1.2 per cent.

Across the 28 country EU, industrial production fell by 0.1 per cent, and gained 0.7 per cent over 12 months.

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