It’s been a day of mixed data releases for the Eurozone as some member nations show signs of improvement and others see their declines accelerate.
According to official figures the decline of Spain’s industrial output accelerated in February. Compared with the same time last year, output in the struggling nation declined by 6.5%, adding to the dismal figure recorded in January. The data also shows that industrial output as now fallen constantly since August 2011.
Spain continues to be mired in recession and has the second highest unemployment rate in Europe with a staggering 26% of the population unable to find work.
Elsewhere in France, industrial output showed signs of a slight recovery as it rose more than economists had been expecting. The increase in output was helped by increased production from car and aircraft factories and was also aided by the reopening of a refinery.
Production climbed 0.7 percent after a revised 0.8 percent decline in January, national statistics office Insee said in Paris today. Economists had been forecasting a 0.2 percent increase. Confidence among manufacturing executives however fell to 93 in March from th 95 recorded in February, services sentiment fell to 88.
“This isn’t the beginning of the recovery,” said Bruno Cavalier, chief economist at Oddo & Cie in Paris. “Confidence is dropping, even more so in services than industry. France is in recession and will stay there for at least several more months.”
Despite the small improvement France remains under pressure from budget cuts and continually weak demand for Eurozone goods. Separate data showed production also fell in Italy.
As of 13:00 pm GMT
The Euro to Pound Sterling exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 0.8555
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.3106
The Euro to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.2447
The Euro to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.325