ECONOMY

Eurozone industrial output falls more than expected in August

Eurozone industrial production fell more than expected in August, mainly because of a slump in the output of capital goods that are used for investment, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Tuesday.

Eurostat said production in the 18 countries sharing the euro fell 1.8 percent in August against July for a 1.9 percent year-on-year decline. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 1.6 percent monthly fall and a -0.9 annual fall.

Eurostat also revised down industrial output growth for July to 0.9 percent month-on-month from 1.0 percent and to 1.6 percent year-on-year from 2.2 percent.

The main factor behind the fall was a 4.8 percent drop in the output of capital goods, which underlines the weakness of investment in the eurozone. Also year-on-year investment goods production fell 3.7 percent — the most of all components.

European finance ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, are debating how to increase investment to boost moribund economic growth in the single currency area and the European Commission is to come up with details of a 300 billion euro 3-year investment scheme by the end of January.

The biggest fall in industrial production was in Germany, where it declined 4.3 percent month-on-month and 2.8 percent year-on-year, pointing to continued weakness in the eurozone’s biggest economy that contracted 0.2 percent in the second quarter. [Reuters]