Eurozone industrial output up 1 percent in August

AP News
Posted: Oct 13, 2010 7:17 AM
Eurozone industrial output up 1 percent in August

Industrial output in the 16 countries that use the euro rose by a monthly 1 percent in August, official figures showed Wednesday, easing concerns that the sector's recovery was grinding to a halt.

The rise reported from Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, is likely to ease fears that the eurozone economy is facing a sharp slowdown in the wake of the faltering recovery in the United States. Much of the eurozone's economic growth in the second quarter of the year was based on a bounceback in the industrial sector, particularly in Germany.

August's rise was the biggest since May and was above market expectations for a 0.7 percent increase.

On an annual basis, industrial production was 7.9 percent higher, up from July's 7.2 percent rate.

Analysts said the figures will help shore up economic growth in the eurozone in the third quarter of the year, when a slowdown is anticipated. The first estimate for quarterly growth is released on November 12.

Things are likely to get more choppy in the months ahead for the industrial sector given the slowdown in the U.S., the austerity measures being enacted around Europe and the recent rise in the value of the euro, which is making exports more expensive in the international marketplace.

As a result, analysts think that consumers have to ratchet up their spending to sustain growth into the latter part of this year and next.

"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.