Euro zone industry output drops again, dragged down by Germany

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial production fell for a second consecutive month in April due to a sharp decline in Germany and a slight fall in Italy, data showed on Thursday.

European Union statistics office Eurostat said output in the 19 countries sharing the euro dropped by 0.5% on the month, in line with market expectations, and by 0.4% year-on-year.

The monthly fall in April followed a 0.4% decrease of the industrial production in March and a flat reading for February.

Output was driven down by a 1.7% drop in durable consumer goods, more than reversing a pick-up in March. Production of intermediate goods and capital goods also declined by 1.0% and 1.4% respectively.

The only positive components were output of energy and of non-durable consumer goods, although the latter very slightly.

Germany, the euro zone’s largest economy, suffered a 2.3% drop, while output in Italy, the zone’s third largest economy, declined for a second straight month, by 0.7%. Production in France, the number two economy, rose by 0.4%.

(Corrects paragraph 4 of this story to read pick-up in March, not April.)

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Kevin Liffey