The European Union’s (EU) statistical agency, Eurostat, reported this morning that industrial production in May for the 17 countries of the eurozone fell by 0.3% month-over-month and by 1.3% year-over-year. In the larger 27-member EU, industrial production fell by 0.6% month-over-month and 1.6% year-over-year.
In more detail, production of durable consumer goods fell 2.3% in the eurozone and 2.1% in the EU month-over-month. For the year, the drop was 6.2% in the eurozone and 5.1% in the EU. Another area showing a significant decline was capital goods, down 1.5% since April and 1.9% compared with May 2012.
Among the individual countries of the EU, Romania posted the largest monthly decline, 10.7%, followed by Lithuania, down 6.3%. Portugal showed the largest monthly growth, up 6.1%.
Year over year, Lithuania posted industrial production growth of 21.6%, followed by Germany with growth of 6.3%. The largest drop came in Sweden and Ireland, both down 7.7% compared with May of 2012.
Industrial production in the EU and the eurozone had been on the rise for three consecutive months, so today’s pullback is disappointing to say the least. Industrial production has fallen back to its levels in September of last year. Before that, industrial production had not fallen that low since the summer of 2010.