RTTNews - Industrial orders in the euro area declined for the eighth consecutive month in March as the economy slipped into a deep recession in the first quarter, official data showed Tuesday. But, the pace of decline slowed in March.

Year-on-year, industrial orders plummeted 26.9% in March versus a revised 34.2% decline in February, the European Union's statistics office revealed. Economists had predicted a 30.6% decline. This was the eighth straight month of decline in orders.

On a monthly basis, industrial new orders dropped 0.8% in March, after reporting a zero growth in February. The decline in March came in line with economists' expectations.

Meanwhile, the EU 27 new orders were down 0.7% month-on-month, taking the annual fall to 25.5% in March.

Orders for non-durable consumer goods slid 3.8% and those for durable consumer goods were down 17.6% in Eurozone. At the same time, capital goods and intermediate goods orders plunged 29.9% and 30.2%, respectively.

Excluding ships, railway and aerospace equipment, for which changes tend to be more volatile, industrial orders decreased 0.2% in the euro area and 0.1% in the EU27.

According to Eurostat, total manufacturing working on orders fell in nineteen and increased only in Denmark and Portugal amongst the member states. The largest annual decrease of 43.4% was reported for Slovenia, followed by Bulgaria and Spain with 42.7% and 34.4%, respectively.

Separately, a report from the European Central Bank showed that current account deficit for the EU 16 bloc totaled a seasonally adjusted EUR 6.5 billion in March, down from EUR 7.8 billion deficit in February. The deficit reflects EUR 7.6 billion shortfall in current transfers and EUR 1.6 billion deficit in goods account, which was partly offset by surpluses in services and income.

On an unadjusted basis, the current account deficit widened to EUR 3.5 billion from EUR 2.1 billion in February.

In the first quarter, Euro area had witnessed its biggest economic contraction since records began in 1995. GDP declined 2.5% sequentially in the first quarter compared to a 1.6% decline in the fourth quarter.

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