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Eurozone industrial production rebounds less than expected; trade surplus eases

Seasonally adjusted industrial production in the eurozone rebounded 0.2% month over month in November 2019 following a revised 0.9% decline in the prior month, Eurostat said.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a 0.3% increase in November 2019.

On a monthly basis, production of energy and capital goods rose 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively. In contrast, the production of intermediate goods declined 0.5% while that of durable consumer goods and non-durable consumer goods went down 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

On a yearly basis, eurozone industrial production fell 1.5% in November 2019, as the production of both intermediate goods and capital goods fell 2.8% and 2%, respectively. In addition, energy production was down 1.9%. Meanwhile, the production of durable consumer goods and non-durable consumer goods rose 1.2% and 1.6%, respectively.

Greece recorded an 8.3% year-over-year decline in industrial production, marking the largest drop among EU member states. Meanwhile, Hungary registered an increase of 5.7%, the fastest pace of growth in the bloc.

IHS Markit reported Jan. 6 that the eurozone's business activity growth remained subdued in December 2019 despite the corresponding index improving to a four-month high, thereby staying at a level among the lowest seen since the first half of 2013.

In addition, separate data from IHS Markit on Jan. 2 showed that the bloc's manufacturing sector declined further into contraction territory in December 2019 amid accelerated declines in output and new orders, with Germany's manufacturing sector leading the downturn.

Trade surplus

According to separate data from Eurostat, the eurozone's international goods trade surplus eased to a seasonally adjusted €19.2 billion in November 2019 from a downwardly revised €24.0 billion in October 2019.

Exports declined 2.8% to €194.6 billion while imports were down 0.5% to €175.4 billion.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the eurozone's goods trade surplus expanded to €20.7 billion in November 2019 from €18.2 billion a year ago, as exports fell 2.9% to €197.7 billion and imports declined 4.6% to €177 billion.