Industrial production plummets in February
Activity in the industrial sector contracted for the third consecutive month in February, recording the worst reading since June 2017. Industrial production decreased a seasonally-adjusted 0.8% from the previous month, which was a larger drop than January’s revised 0.6% fall (previously reported: -1.0% month-on-month). The result contrasted market analysts’ expectations of a 0.1% rise. February’s contraction was broad-based with all the sub-components of the index falling except for energy. The most pronounced declines were seen in the production of capital and durable consumer goods.
On an annual basis, industrial production expanded 2.7% in February, the lowest growth rate since October 2017 and below January’s revised 3.7% increase (previously reported: +2.7% year-on-year). Meanwhile, the trend pointed up with annual average industrial production growth rising from 3.3% in January to 3.4% in February.
Among the Euro area economies for which data is available, the largest contractions in industrial production were registered in the Lithuania (-3.9% month-on-month) and Estonia (-2.7% mom). On the flipside, Latvia and the Netherlands had the best performances with industrial output growing 3.9% over the previous month in both countries. Among the region’s largest economies, industrial output sunk in Germany (-1.5% mom) and Italy (-0.5% mom) but grew in France (+1.3% mom) and Spain (+1.4% mom).