MADRID -- Spain's factories in December slashed production for the 16th consecutive month, official data showed Thursday, as they reacted to a slump in demand from recession-hit consumers.
Output dropped 6.9% in the year to December, after smoothing out seasonal blips, following a 7% plunge in November, a report by the National Statistics Institute showed.
Industrial production over the whole of 2012 -- a year of recession in which the unemployment rate spiraled to 26% -- was down 6% from the previous year, it said.
Spanish factories axed output of consumer goods 10.5% in December from a year earlier.
Production of durable goods such as cars or washing machines plummeted 14.4% while output of non-durable goods such as food, medicines, or paper supplies tumbled 10.2%.
Output of equipment, a barometer for the outlook of Spanish business, dropped 4.6%. Production of intermediate goods used in manufacturing, such as chemicals, fell 8.8%.
Energy output edged up 0.6%.
Spain's economy shrank at the fastest pace in more than three years in the final quarter of 2012, with gross domestic product declining 0.7% from the previous quarter, official data showed last week.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013