German manufacturing output declined the most in five months in November, while France’s advanced at a rate not seen since August. Is this an indication of who is leading economic growth in the 19-nation euro region? Hardly.
Factory production is about 4 percent below levels recorded in early 2011 in France, and up about 4 percent in Europe’s largest economy. While the Bundesbank is confident that German growth will pick up in the next two years amid robust domestic spending and an expected recovery in global trade, the Bank of France has cut its fourth-quarter forecast after the November terrorist attacks and a surge in unemployment to the highest in 18 years.