Sluggish industrial production growth dampens hope of economic recovery in Italy and France

Chris Papadopoullos
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TWO of the four biggest Eurozone economies are struggling to keep up with the currency union’s recovery, new official figures showed yesterday.

French industrial production in January was down 0.9 per cent on the same month last year.

Italy’s industrial production, plummeted by 2.2 per cent in January compared with the same month last year. Industrial production is the output of manufacturers as well as that of quarries and mines.

Both economies grew at a slower rate than the Eurozone average in the last three months of 2014.

“While the euro’s decline should provide some support to industry, structural factors such as the rigidity of the labour market still seem to be preventing a significant recovery,” said economist Jennifer McKeown from Capital Economics.

France is struggling to make economic reforms. Its ruling socialist party recently used an archaic rule in its constitution – that can be used only once a year – to pass a series of laws without parliamentary approval. The reforms included extending Sunday opening hours for shops and liberalising certain sectors.

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