BUSINESS

Rise in Greek industrial output points to stabilization

Greek industrial output rose in December for the first time in six months, adding to signs that the economy may be bottoming out after a six-year slump.

Industrial production rose 0.5 percent year-on-year in December after a revised 5.4 percent drop the previous month, boosted by a 7.1 percent rise in electricity production, data from the country’s statistics service showed on Monday.

Industrial production series are usually volatile and subject to sizable revisions.

Greece’s economy is on the cusp of recovery this year after shrinking by about a quarter through six straight years of recession.

December’s reading meant industrial output shrank 3.6 percent in 2013 overall.

The sector has been in decline since 2008, contracting by a full 30 percent from its peak.

Athens projects gross domestic product will expand by 0.6 percent this year.

Manufacturing sentiment was pointing toward growth for the first time in almost four years in January, based on the latest PMI indicator.

“The positive reading reflects rising foreign orders and better domestic demand for industrial products,” said Eurobank economist Platon Monokroussos.

“Viewed with the latest PMI readings, it suggests a stabilization in industrial activity following the steep decline over the last years.”

[Reuters]

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