December sees factory output rise in Eurozone

Ben Southwood
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EUROZONE factory output grew for the first time for five months in December, but analysts said the above-expectations rise would not stop GDP from contracting.

Industrial production grew 0.7 per cent in the final month of 2012, Eurostat said yesterday, the first month of growth since August, and almost double consensus expectations.

But Ben May at Capital Economics echoed many analysts by continuing to forecast a deep fall in the bloc’s overall output.

“December’s rise in Eurozone industrial production does not alter the fact that GDP probably contracted pretty sharply in the fourth quarter,” May said.

In fact, industrial woe probably took about 0.5 percentage points away from fourth quarter GDP growth, May said.

“December’s increase reversed less than a quarter of the falls recorded over the previous three months,” May pointed out.

But the small overall improvement hid some much starker moves in member states.

Ireland enjoyed an 8.5 per cent increase in industrial output over the month, as part of a 1.9 per cent improvement over the year.

By contrast, Spain and Italy both saw industrial production slide over 6.5 per cent between December 2011 and December 2012.