World Bulletin / News Desk
Eurozone industrial production fell 0.1 percent in January from December 2014, the European Statistical Agency said in a statement on Thursday.
The slight decline was driven by a drop in production of durable consumer goods, which decreased 2.2 percent.
Capital goods and non-durable consumer goods both increased 0.1 percent and energy by 0.9 percent, the statement said.
Industrial production remained stable in the EU28 as production of energy rose by 0.6% and intermediate goods and non-durable consumer goods were both stable.
Malta, Hungary and Bulgaria saw the largest increases in production. The largest decreases in industrial production were registered in Croatia at -4.0 percent, Latvia at -3.1 percent, Finland at -2.5 percent and Lithuania at -2.3 percent.
Stable industrial production is another sign that the Eurozone is exhibiting signs of economic recovery, with the European Central Bank's stimulus program injecting €60 billion ($63.5 billion) every month in bond and securities purchases.
The ECB forecasts 1.5 percent GDP growth for the euro area in 2015.
Analysts are upbeat about the Eurozone economy.
"The euro area economy expanded by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, just ahead of consensus expectations. Given investors’ gloominess about the region last autumn, this should be a source of comfort, especially for European equity markets," wrote Dario Perkins, an economist with Lombard Street Research in London, in a note published on March 9.
"As usual, Germany remained the euro area’s main growth engine (output jumped 0.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter), but there were also signs of improvement elsewhere. The Italian economy stabilised and France continued to grow," Perkins wrote.
Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg bank in Hamburg, said that the systemic crisis in Europe is over. In a note published on March 9, Schmieding said that the real story in Europe is the quiet progress made almost everywhere, and not the ongoing Greek bailout drama.
"Helped by serious cyclical tailwinds and further structural reforms, the outlook for the Eurozone is now better than it has been for the last four years," he claimed.
Schmieding noted that the low value of the euro against most major currencies is boosting European businesses. The euro has dropped to 1.059 to the dollar, and many analysts expect it to fall to parity with the American currency for the first time since 2002.
A nearly $0.2 move in the euro against the dollar is worth about 5 percent in operating profit to European corporates, analysts at research group Alphavalue told the Financial Times on Thursday.Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mart 2015, 13:51