Industrial Production, or IP, in the euro area fell by 0.2 percent in January over the previous month while it rose by 0.1 percent in the 28-nation European Union, or EU, according to data released by Eurostat Wednesday. In December 2013, IP had decreased by 0.4 percent in both regions.
The month-on-month fall in the 18-member euro area was attributed to a fall in production of consumer durables and energy. Production of intermediate goods remained nearly stable while that of non-durable consumer goods grew by 0.4 percent and capital goods grew by 0.9 percent, the data showed. The slight increase in production in the EU was led by production of capital goods (1.3 percent), durable consumer goods (0.8 percent) and intermediate goods (0.4 percent).
On an annual basis, however, IP grew by 2.1 percent in the euro area and by 2.4 percent in the EU. According to a Wall Street Journal consensus estimate, month-on-month growth in the euro area was expected to be 0.6 percent while annual growth was expected to be 1.9 percent.
The largest monthly decreases in industrial production were registered in Latvia (-10.7 percent), the Netherlands (-6.4 percent), Finland (-3.5 percent) and Lithuania (-2.8 percent), and the highest increases were seen in Croatia (+5.4 percent), Estonia (+4.3 percent) and Hungary (+3.1 percent), according to Eurostat.
Year-on-year, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Luxembourg (+12.7 percent), Romania (+10.5 percent), Poland (+6.4 percent) and Hungary (+6.1 percent), and the largest decreases were in Malta (-12.0 percent), Latvia (-11.0 percent), Lithuania (-7.6 percent) and Finland (-7.1 percent).