France: Industrial output plummets in January
Industrial production contracted 2.0% in month-on-month terms in January, coming in below the 0.2% increase observed in December. January’s print marked the worst reading since May 2014 and came in significantly below market analysts expectations of a softer 0.2% decline.
The sharp drop in January reflected a broad-based decline in all components of the index. Construction activity swung from a 5.2% month-on-month expansion in December to a sharp 7.6% month-on-month drop in January, and the manufacturing component dropped 1.1% in January (December: -0.1% month-on-month). Similarly, extractive industries, water and energy production contracted 6.7% compared to previous month (December: +2.0% month-on-month).
In annual terms, growth in industrial production slowed from a revised 3.9% increase in December (previously reported: +4.5% year-on-year) to 1.2% in January. Meanwhile, annual average growth in industrial production edged up from 2.0% in December to 2.3% in January.