Monday 23 April 2018

Irish output shrinks fastest in Europe with 4.9pc contraction


Thomas Molloy

INDUSTRIAL production shrank faster in Ireland than any other European country over the past year, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said yesterday.

Industrial production contracted 4.9pc in Ireland in the past 12 months, compared to 4.4pc in Portugal and 2.9pc in Greece.

Production soared elsewhere, rising 22.9pc in Estonia, 10.4pc in Germany and 9.2pc in Latvia.

The new figures also showed that industrial production rebounded in July, led by surging German output after the biggest drop in more than a year the previous month.

Production in the 17-nation eurozone rose 1pc from June when it fell 0.8pc. That was the biggest gain since November 2010, but still lower than economists' forecasts of 1.5pc.

European manufacturers have helped bolster the region's expansion as a worsening debt crisis forced governments to cut spending, eroding consumer confidence.

Luxury cars

Demand for luxury cars such as BMWs and Audis continued to rise as the Chinese economy surged.

In Germany, Europe's largest economy, industrial output surged 4.1pc from June, when it fell 0.8pc, yesterday's report showed.

Irish production rose 0.8pc in July after slipping 1.6pc in June. French production advanced 1.6pc, while Italy showed a 0.7pc drop. In Spain, output also decreased.

With governments cutting spending to plug deficits, manufacturers have relied on faster-growing markets to bolster sales.

Euro-region output of capital goods jumped 3pc from June, when it fell 1.5pc, yesterday's report showed. Energy production fell 0.8pc and output of intermediate goods rose 0.8pc. Production of durable consumer goods was up 2.9pc.

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