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Euro-Area Industrial Output Unexpectedly Declined in October

Euro-area industrial production unexpectedly fell in October as declines in Germany and France offset gains in Spain and Portugal.

Output in the 17-nation euro area dropped 1.4 percent from September, when it declined 2.3 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast no change in October, according to the median of 34 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Output fell 3.6 percent from the year-earlier month.

The European Central Bank last week estimated that the euro-area economy will contract 0.5 percent this year and 0.3 percent in 2013. Manufacturing output shrank for a 16th month in November, according to Markit Economics, adding to signs a recession in the currency bloc may extend into next year as leaders struggle to tackle the sovereign-debt crisis.

Industrial output in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, fell 2.4 percent after a 1.6 percent decline in September, today’s report showed. France reported a 0.6 percent drop, while Spain and Portugal had increases of 1.2 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Energy production fell 1.5 percent after a 0.2 percent drop in September, according to today’s report. Output of intermediate goods and durable consumer goods declined 1.2 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, while production of non-durable consumer goods advanced 1.2 percent.

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