Euro Area: Industrial production plunges in March
Industrial output fell 4.1% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms in March, contrasting February’s 1.5% increase. March’s result reflected downturns in the production of energy, non-durable consumer goods, intermediate goods and capital goods. On the flipside, production of durable consumer goods expanded at a faster pace.
Looking at the individual economies for which data is available, industrial output fell in 12 countries, while it expanded in seven. Focusing on the most important economies, production decreased in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands while it increased in Spain.
On an annual basis, industrial production shrank 1.4% in March, swinging from February’s 2.0% increase. Lastly, annual average growth in industrial production came in at 2.0% in March, down from 2.1% in February.
Commenting on the release, Bert Colijn, senior economist at ING, stated:
“The drop in eurozone production in March likely overstates the weakness at the end of the first quarter, due to a curious decline in Ireland. […] For the months ahead, the outlook for industry looks feeble. While lower energy costs are a clear boost to the more energy-intensive industries, weak demand remains a concern across the board.”