The European industry took a tumble in March, failing to register any recovery, and continuing a slump that began in February.
According to the latest data released by Eurostat, the European statistical authority, industrial production across the single currency area fell by 0.8% in March. That was the same number as in February, but well below the consensus of economists, who saw a reading of 0.0% as most likely.
Here’s how that looks as part of the long-term trend:
On a year-to-year basis, industrial production grew by 0.2% against a consensus estimate of 1.1%, and down from 0.8% growth last month.
Individually, the countries in Europe where production struggled the most in March were Ireland, Malta, Estonia, and Greece. Production in those economies fell 10.6%, 5.4%, 4.8%, and 4.1% respectively.
On a sector-to-sector basis, so-called non-durable consumer goods — cosmetics and cleaning products, food, fuel, beer, cigarettes, and medication — were the worst performing, dropping 1.9%.
According to Eurostat, the fall in industrial production “is due to production of non-durable consumer goods falling by 1.9%, capital goods by 1.1%, intermediate goods by 0.8% and durable consumer goods by 0.4%, while production of energy rose by 2.0%.”
Eurostat’s figures come just a week after a horrible set of UK manufacturing data. Markit’s monthly PMI numbers for the UK showed that manufacturing shrunk for the first time in three years in April, with Markit economists saying that there is a “deep unease” in the sector.
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