Eurozone Factory Output Slumps

Industrial output fell 1.6%

Factories and refineries in the nations using the euro ratcheted down production at the fastest rate on record in November in the face of recession, official EU data showed on Jan. 14.

Eurozone industrial output fell 1.6% in November from October, bringing the slump over one year to 7.7% -- the biggest drop since records began in 1990, the European Union's Eurostat data agency said.

The drop, which was adjusted for seasonal variations, came after industrial output fell 1.6% in October over one month and 5.7% over one year.

The slump was driven by a sharp fall in intermediate goods such as partly finished products and raw materials and durable consumer goods such as televisions.

Slumping German production weighed on the overall eurozone performance with industrial output in Europe's biggest economy plunging 3.3% over one month and 6.6% over one year. With foreign demand for German exports dropping and the financial crisis taking a heavy toll, the German economy shrank by 1.5%-2% in the fourth quarter.

The eurozone, whose ranks swelled to 16 members on January 1 when Slovakia adopted the euro, entered a recession in the third quarter of last year and many economists estimate that the bloc's economy has slumped further since then.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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