Industrial output across EU sees an upswing in August

INDUSTRIAL output in the 16-member euro area grew by one per cent in August fuelled by an increase in the production of capital goods, official figures revealed yesterday.

European statistics agency Eurostat said industrial output in the wider 27-member European Union (EU) also grew by 0.8 per cent.

The figures showed the highest rise in industrial output since May and were a significant improvement on the previous month, which saw industrial output grow by an anaemic 0.1 per cent in both zones.

Industrial output on an annual basis rose 7.9 per cent in the euro area and by 7.5 per cent in the EU.

Production of capital goods, including factories, machinery and tools ,grew by three per cent in the Eurozone and by 2.6 per cent in the EU. The output of consumer durable goods, including home appliances, jewellery and car production, rose by 1.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. But production of energy dropped by 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent. Eurostat said Greece saw the biggest rise in industrial output at 5.6 per cent while Ireland saw output fall dramatically by 13.6 per cent.

While the figures suggested a strong recovery in August, economists raised fears of a slowdown in the third quarter.

“With the business surveys suggesting that the industrial recovery will soon start to slow, domestic spending will need to pick up to prevent the Eurozone recovery from fizzling out,” said Ben May, European economist at Capital Economics.