Just when you thought it was all going to be ok, Eurozone industrial production has fallen again

Jasper Jolly
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Rollercoaster ride: Production fell (Source: Getty)

Eurozone industrial production fell 0.8 per cent in September after a strong 1.8 per cent rise in August, adding to a volatile 2016 so far for European industry.

Denmark and Germany posted the largest individual country declines, according to the data released today by the European Union’s statistics agency. They fell 8.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively, while Greece’s industrial production also fell 1.8 per cent.

The fall in Germany’s industrial production comes after it posted an increase of 3.1 per cent in industrial production in August. Falls in German industry tend to have an outsized effect on the European economy, owing to its large share of production.

The last year has been marked by rollercoaster conditions for Eurozone industrial production, with figures alternating between growth and decline every month since March, reflecting the mixed economic picture across the European Union.

The data for the United Kingdom showed a decline of 0.3 per cent, adding to a decline in August of 0.4 per cent.

In sectoral terms, the largest falls in Eurozone industrial production were registered by durable consumer goods (which include items that are not bought frequently, such as household appliances) with a 5.6 per cent decline, and capital goods (mainly used to produce other goods and services), with a 2.2 per cent decline.

Despite the monthly fall, year-on-year production for September 2016 was up 1.2 per cent over September last year.

The fall in industrial production was slightly smaller in the European Union as a whole (which includes non-Eurozone countries such as the UK), at 0.7 per cent.

Potential political shocks, led by the election of Donald Trump and the process of Britain leaving the EU, could be “increasingly problematic for Eurozone growth prospects over the coming months”, according to Howard Archer, the chief UK and European economist at IHS Markit.

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