Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Eurozone industrial output drops

Euro symbol
Production in the eurozone has dropped

Eurozone industrial output fell more than expected in October, down 1.2% from the previous month and 5.3% over the year, Eurostat has reported.

The drop came as factories cut output faster than expected, in light of a drop in demand around the world.

The worse-than-expected data is an indication that the recession is becoming more pronounced.

The September data was revised to a 1.8% monthly contraction, against a previously reported 1.6% drop.

The fall was particularly strong in the output of consumer and intermediate goods.

The data "provides another strong sign that the economic downturn is gathering pace," said Ben May of Capital Economics.

Last month, the eurozone officially slipped into recession after EU figures showed that the economy shrank by 0.2% in the third quarter.

This follows a 0.2% contraction in the 15-nation area in the previous quarter.

Two quarters of negative growth define a technical recession.

This was the first recession the region has seen since the euro's creation in 1999.

This month the European Central Bank has cut interest rates by 0.75% to 2.5% to help boost the economy, but the data add to pressure for further rate cuts.

European leaders are also discussing a 200bn euro (177bn) stimulus package at their summit in Brussels.

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