Interesting how the weakness seems to be shifting to Germany and France?
By Martin Santa
July 12 (Reuters) — Euro zone factory output fell in May for the first time in four months, data showed on Friday, suggesting a fragile and uneven recovery in the bloc that is struggling with record joblessness and renewed political tensions in southern Europe.
Industrial production in the 17 countries using the single currency fell 0.3 percent on the month, following a revised 0.5 percent increase in April, data from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat showed.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 percent decline in May.
Compared with the same period last year, factory output in May dropped as expected by 1.3 percent, after a 0.6 percent contraction in April.
Production in Europe’s two biggest economies, Germany and France, dropped in May, with Italy and Spain showing small increases. Overall, factory output was dented by a 2.3 percent drop in the production in durable goods, such as cars and TVs.
Germany, France, and Italy account for two-thirds of the euro zone’s industrial output.