Eurozone Factory Output and Inflation Inch Higher

Eurostat, the European Union's official statistics agency, said today that industrial production in the 17 eurozone countries was 0.6% higher in July than in June, but 2.3% lower than in July 2011. Economists had been expecting a rise in production of only 0.1%.

The rebound was driven by a 2.4% surge in the manufacture of capital goods, which included a 1.3% increase in German output. However, there was a decline of 0.5% in the production of durable consumer goods and a 0.6% decline in nondurable consumer goods, suggesting a rise in exports to developing economies despite weak domestic demand.

In separate reports:

  • Germany's De Statis statistics agency said consumer prices rose by 0.4% from July and by 2.1% from August 2011.

  • Spain's National Statistics Institute reported that consumer prices increased by 2.7% from August 2011 and by 2.2% over the rate of inflation recorded in July.

  • Insee, the French national statistics office said consumer prices in the eurozone's second-largest economy grew by 2.1% in the 12 months to August.

All three agencies cited rising fuel prices as driving the advance in inflation.

Last month Eurostat estimated that the annual rate of inflation across the eurozone rose to 2.6% from 2.4% in July. Eurostat releases its final estimate on Friday.

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