Brussels - Output at eurozone factories fell for the third
straight month in November and against expectations of a rise, but the end of
2012 probably marked the deepest point in the bloc's recession.
Industrial production in the 17 countries sharing the euro
fell 0.3% in November from the previous month, continuing its fall since the
European summer, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said on Monday.
Factory output, two-thirds of which is generated by Germany,
France and Italy, was also down almost 4% on an annual basis in the month.
Economists polled by Reuters expected a very modest, 0.1% rise in November from
October, and a 3.2% fall on an annual basis
The eurozone's debt crisis has driven a vicious cycle of
falling business consumer morale and rising, record unemployment that has
sucked away demand for factory-made goods, ranging from cars to food.
While the eurozone avoided a break-up last year, helped by a
European Central Bank announcement of a plan to buy government bonds,
households are suffering the most from the crisis. Production of durable
consumer goods such as televisions fell nearly 8% in November compared to a
But production of machinery to produce other goods, an
indicator of future business, rose 0.7% in November from October, after two
months of losses.
If production of those capital goods continues to increase,
that could support business surveys and the view of the ECB that the eurozone
will recover from recession in 2013 and that the economy hit bottom in the
fourth quarter of last year.
"The worst is behind us," David Mackie, an
economist at JP Morgan said in a research note. "We believe that the euro
area will exit recession in the first half of this year," he said.