Euro Area: Industrial production swings to expansion in March
Industrial output inched up a seasonally-adjusted 0.1% over the previous month in March, contrasting February’s 1.2% decline. March’s increase reflected turnarounds in the production of non-durable consumer goods, energy and intermediate goods, as well as a softer contraction in the production of capital goods.
Looking at the individual economies for which data is available, industrial output expanded in seven countries, while it contracted in nine countries. Moreover, production grew in France and Germany, while it declined in Italy and Spain.
On an annual basis, industrial production jumped 10.9% in March, as it benefited from a low base effect as March 2020 was the first month in which the pandemic hit, and contrasting February’s 1.8% drop. Lastly, annual average variation in industrial production improved to minus 6.3% from February’s minus 8.4%.
Commenting on the release, Bert Colijn, Eurozone senior economist at ING, stated:
“Supply chain distortions over the first months of the year could still lead to delays and a more erratic path of industry on its return to normal. However, past experience has shown that any of these supply chain distortions will only delay rather than derail the rebound of industrial production in the eurozone. March was only a short resting period in the starting blocks. In April, the race to recovery will be on.”