Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

French and Italian output falls

Renault car factory in France
The decline in French output was in line with falls elsewhere in Europe

Industrial output fell across Europe in December, official figures have shown.

French output was down 1.8% on the previous month, but this was better than the 2.8% decline seen in November, said national statistics office INSEE.

However, there were some sectors that saw growth, with food, agriculture and consumer goods all up slightly.

Meanwhile monthly production in Italy was down 2.5%, with falls across all sectors. Industrial output for the year was down 4.3% on 2007.

The biggest decline was seen in investment goods, Italian national statistics agency ISTAT said.

"The latest eurozone industrial production data confirm that the sector is in dire straits and is pushing the region into a very deep recession," said Ben May from Capital Economics.

German industrial output fell by 4.6% in December, data last week showed, meaning that the eurozone's three largest economies are all showing signs of falling output.

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