Sunday 17 December 2017

Ireland leads way with biggest surge in industrial output

Donal O'Donovan

INDUSTRIAL output across the eurozone beat economists forecast to increase by 1.2pc in November, with Ireland seeing the most rapid increase.

Industrial growth surged ahead in spite of the debt crisis snapping at the euro's heels.

According to data released last night by the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, production in the 16 countries that shared the euro in November was up 1.2pc month-on-month and was 7.4pc higher than at the same time the previous year, the data showed.

Germany is the driving force for much of the rise in output but Ireland had the highest level of growth in industrial output of any eurozone country.

In Ireland, output was 14.2pc higher in November than at the same time the previous year. Irish growth is the fastest rate of expansion among euro members. In the far bigger German economy, output was up 11.4pc year-on-year, the second fastest rate of growth.

Portugal and Spain recorded the lowest industrial growth, at 0.7pc and 2.3pc respectively. Greece and Malta both saw output fall.

German industrial output is at the heart of the trend, according to Economist Brian Devine of NCB Stockbrokers.

"Germany is seeing the highest growth for some time on the back of demand from Asia for their higher value added products," he said.

Mr Devine said that even with industry booming there was little fear of the ECB increasing interest rates over the coming months.

"They would try to raise rates if the issues for the peripheral eurozone economies weren't there. For now the UK is more likely to see rate rises than the eurozone," he added.

A number of countries outside the euro saw even higher rates of industrial growth, including Estonia where output was up 35pc. Estonia joined the eurozone at the start of this year, taking the total number of members to 17.

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