Fresh figures from the European Union's statistics office have shown industrial output in the 17-member euro area have dropped again after an earlier pick-up. Only the energy sector was able to buck the trend.
Eurozone industrial output, a key measure of manufacturing activity, turned lower in September, Eurostat figures showed Wednesday.
Factory production fell by 0.5 percent from August when it rose by 1 percent, reflecting the single-currency area's successful struggle to finally leave recession behind. Analysts had only penciled in a 0.3-percent drop for September.
Production of durable consumer goods, such as cars and electronics, was down by 2.6 percent in the month under review, with only the highly volatile energy sector output rising by 1.3 percent.
Long-term comparison favorable
Germany as the eurozone's largest economy logged a 0.8-percent decline in factory output, while the second-largest economy in the area, France, registered a 0.4-percent dip. The worst reading came from Portugal where production plummeted by 11.2 percent month-on-month.
While the September-August comparison looked discouraging, eurozone industrial output was up 1.1 percent compared with the September 2012.
The 9.5-trillion-euro ($12.74-trillion) euro economy crawled out of recession in the second quarter of this year with a 0.3-percent rise in gross domestic product.
hg/rg (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)