Euro zone April industrial output plunge deepest on record

BRUSSELS, June 12 (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial output posted its deepest plunge on record in April as coronavirus lockdowns shut down economic activity across the single currency bloc, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Friday.

Eurostat said industrial output in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 17.1% month-on-month for a 28.0% year-on-year drop, the steepest declines since records began in 1991.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 20.0% monthly, and a 29.5% annual fall.

The sectors that suffered most were durable consumer goods, where output plunged 28.9% month-on-month for a 47.7% year-on-year drop and capital goods, with a 26.6% monthly and 40.9% annual decline.

The euro zone’s biggest economy Germany saw a 30.2% fall in industrial output year-on-year and second and third biggest France and Italy showed production shrinking even - 34.9% and 42.5% respectively. Fourth biggest economy Spain had a 34.3% fall.

The hardest hit was the smallest euro zone economy, Luxembourg, with a 43.9% reduction in output while Ireland was the only country in the 27-nation European Union to show a year-on-year increase in production of 5.5%. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)