The latest negative industrial production
figures for the eurozone reinforce expectations that the single
currency bloc will slip back into recession in the second quarter of
2012, analysts said Wednesday.
Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office, said euro area industrial output fell by 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis in April.
This "adds to growing evidence that the eurozone economy took a further turn for the worse in the second quarter, after the first quarter's stagnation," said Martin van Vliet from ING Bank.
"Today's industrial production data clearly reinforce the need for a more expansionary macroeconomic policy in the eurozone," he added.
Analysts had forecast a 1.2-per-cent drop. But even if Eurostat's figures were slightly better, "it was still the seventh fall in the last eight months and left production some 2.3 per cent lower than a year ago," said Jonathan Loynes from Capital Economics.
The index has been on a negative trend since August 2011 -- save for a 0.7 percent uptick in February. In April, Portugal (-6.5 percent), Germany (-2 percent) and Italy (-1.9 percent) had the worst monthly performances.
"The difficulties facing peripheral countries are spreading to core countries," said Clemente De Lucia fron BNP Paribas, commenting on the German drop. "Nevertheless, Germany, is still largely outperforming its peers."
On an annual basis, output in the 17-member single currency bloc fell by 2.3 percent -- the worst performance over the past six months, Eurostat said.
The gloomy data gives "another reminder that more bailouts for governments and support packages for banks will do little to address the fundamental macro-economic challenges facing the currency union," said Loynes.
In the 27-member E.U., the index was down by 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and down 1.7 percent on an annual one.
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