Spain and Italy hit as industrial output slides across Eurozone

Ben Southwood
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INDUSTRIAL production crashed in Spain and Italy, and despite rising slightly in France, remained down there compared to a year earlier, figures showed yesterday.

Italian industrial production fell 0.8 per cent in February, official data body Istat said, to put it 3.8 per cent down on the same month in 2012, after adjusting for changes in the calendar.

Spanish industry was hit even harder, with output 8.5 per cent lower in February 2013 than a year before, according to its official statistical institute Ine.

And though French industry managed to up activity by 0.7 per cent between the first and second months of the year, according to Insee numbers, output was still 2.8 per cent below where it stood in February 2012. Manufacturing – a key chunk of the overall industrial sector – saw its output fall 3.4 per cent over the year, despite a 0.8 per cent bounce-back between January and February.

Meanwhile output in the Portuguese construction industry collapsed 19.9 per cent over the year to the three months ending with February, according to official figures, also out yesterday.