Industrial output, exports stay weak

As Greece’s economy heads into a likely recession this year, data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) showed that Greece’s industrial production and exports fell in July. Industrial output, which accounts for about 15 percent of annual economic growth, fell 9.2 percent year-on-year in July, contracting for the 15th consecutive month. NSS said that in the first seven months of the year overall, industrial production contracted 9.4 percent year-on-year versus a 2.9 percent decline during the same period in 2008. Industrial production in the 16-country euro area fell 17 percent year-on-year in June, according to Eurostat, with rising optimism in business surveys and upbeat German orders pointing to a pick-up in the third quarter. «Industrial production continued to shrink but at a slower pace than in the previous month,» National Bank economist Nikos Magginas told Reuters in Athens. «This creates expectations of stabilization in the coming months as reflected by a significant improvement of leading indicators,» he added. Meanwhile, the statistical office also said exports in July fell 20.5 percent year-on-year to 1.29 billion euros, versus a 34 drop in imports to 3.8 billion euros. For the 12-month period ending in July, exports fell 12.3 percent.