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Euro industry output rises 0.9 per cent in August

Wed Oct 14 23:18:46 EST 2009
Wed Oct 14 12:18:46 UTC 2009

BRUSSELS, Oct 14 AP - Industrial output in the 16 nations that use the euro rose 0.9 per cent in August from a month earlier, the EU statistics agency said Wednesday, suggesting the region's economy is recovering gradually.

Higher production of durable consumer goods, including household appliances, was the main force behind the monthly climb, Eurostat said.

This shows that factories are making more big-ticket items in the hope that consumers are more willing to spend.

But the picture is mixed: production of goods for industry, such as machine parts, rose only slightly in August. The output of nondurable goods - mostly food - fell 1.3 per cent.

August's monthly increase masks a massive plummet in production over the year. It has fallen 15.4 per cent compared to August 2008.

Consumer and business confidence has been rising in recent months, a sign that the economic downturn has bottomed out.

The European Commission says it expects the eurozone to pull out of recession in the third quarter, after the currency area's two largest economies - Germany and France - returned to growth in the second quarter.

In the euro area, industrial output rose 0.2 per cent in July from the month before.

Across all 27 nations of the European Union, industrial production rose 0.6 per cent in August from a month earlier and fell 13.5 per cent from a year ago.