Industrial Production Declines in France, Spain

France falls 1.5%; Spain declines 0.6%

Industrial production in two big members of the eurozone, France and Spain, declined in November compared ith the previous month, statistics agencies in both countries reported on Jan. 10. In Paris the national statistics institute INSEE said that industrial output fell 1.5% in November after rising 2.1% in October. Excluding the energy and food sectors, production was down 1.3% compared with a rise of 2% in October.

In Spain industrial output registered its first setback in two years, falling 0.6% in November following a 2.6% gain in October, according to INSEE. Analysts said that added to rising unemployment and other signs of a slowdown in the Spanish economy.

In France, analyst Nicolas Bouzou with the research group Asteres said the French figures for November were weak but not "catastrophic," notably in light of the sharp gain in October and a week of strikes in the previous month. "Most sectors are partially correcting for an excellent performance in October but the trend is generally stronger," he said. Compared with November 2006 industrial output rose 2.7% in November, Bouzou said. The decline in France was attributed by INSEE to the automobile sector, where production fell 5.3% after a gain of 7.5% in October.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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