Ireland reports strongest growth in Europe for industrial production
IRELAND recorded the highest growth in industrial production of any country in the EU in the year to the end of November, Eurostat figures have revealed.
And industrial production across the eurozone in November was the strongest in three years and rose faster than expected, signalling that the recovery in the 18-member bloc gathered momentum in the final months of 2013.
While Ireland topped the table, Malta and debt-riddled Greece suffered the largest declines.
Industrial production here rose 13.2pc between November 2012 and November 2013.
Ireland also had the highest increase of 11.7pc month on month between October and November, compared with an EU average growth of 1.5pc and a euro-area average of 1.9pc. The data points to a slight acceleration of the economic recovery of the €9.5 trillion eurozone economy in the last quarter of 2013 compared with the previous three months, when it nearly stalled because of a weak performance in France and Italy.
Production in the bloc's largest economy, Germany, grew 2.4pc on the month in November, showing its strongest rise since July 2011, while output in the second largest, France, rose 1.4pc.
The positive results for France came just hours before President Francois Hollande was due to unveil his new reform agenda in a bid to give a boost to the country's economy. Ireland's reading was the highest increase in the EU followed by Slovakia, up 12.7pc, the Czech Republic, up 8.8pc, and Romania, up 8.7pc.
The southern periphery also saw some improvement as Spain's output returned to growth and Portugal's production was up by 1.5pc.
Stockbrokers Davy last week highlighted the fact that recent purchasing managers' indices point to a health pipeline of new orders into this year, with the outlook for the sector remaining positive.
But it warned volatility from the pharmaceutical patent cliff may continue into the year and could not be ruled out.
"Nevertheless, while the volatility may affect the industry and trade numbers, it has very little pass-through to the domestic economy and will not derail the recovery," the stockbroker said.
Meanwhile, UK inflation unexpectedly slowed in December, reaching the Bank of England's 2pc target for the first time in more than four years.