Euro zone industrial production falls more than expected in December

FILE PHOTO - A worker welds in a factory in Gravellona Lomellina, 45km (27 miles) southwest of Milan, Italy, June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial production fell more than expected in December, official estimates showed on Wednesday, pulled down by a drop in the output of capital goods, used for investment.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said industrial output in the 19-country currency union fell 0.9 percent month-on-month for a 4.2 percent year-on-year decline.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4 percent monthly fall and a 3.2 year-on-year decline.

Eurostat said the production of capital goods, like machinery, fell by 1.5 percent in December against November and year on year the fall was 5.5 percent, accelerating from 4.4 percent in November.

The fall in industrial production and the decline in the output of capital goods underline the trend of slowing economic growth in the euro zone where the European Commission expects growth to decelerate to 1.3 percent this year from 1.9 in 2018.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Francesco Guarascio