EU Economy
Germany, France and UK report grim economic data
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jan 9, 2015 - 10:50 AM

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Source: Office of National Statistics

Germany today reported that exports and industrial production fell in November 2014 while the UK reported a fall in industrial and construction output. The UK trade deficit narrowed due to a fall in the fuel import bill. Meanwhile France also reported a decline in industrial production.

German industrial output unexpectedly fell in November, declining 0.1% from the previous month when economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 0.4% gain. In October 2014, it had increased a revised 0.6% from September 2014.

Destatis, the federal statistics office, said that in November 2014, production in industry excluding energy and construction was up by 0.3%. Within industry, the production of capital goods (0.5%) and the production of consumer goods (0.6%) increased. The producers of intermediate goods, however, reported a decrease (–0.1%) of production on the previous month. Energy production fell by 2.4% in November 2014 and the production in construction decreased by 0.6%.

Destatis also reported that Germany exported goods to the value of €95.8bn and imported goods to the value of €78.0bn in November 2014 with exports falling by 2.1% on October 2014 while imports rose by 1.5%.  German exports increased by 1.4% and imports by 1.7% in November 2014 on November 2013.

The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of  €17.9bn in November 2014. In November 2013, the German current account showed a surplus of  €17.8bn. After seasonal adjustment the foreign trade balance recorded a surplus of  €17.7bn in November 2014.

UK industrial production and construction output also unexpectedly contracted in November, but manufacturing a subset increased.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the deficit of trade in goods and services for November 2014 narrowed to £1.4bn from £2.2bn in the previous month. This is the lowest total trade deficit since June 2013, when the deficit stood at £0.4bn. The trade position reflects exports minus imports. Between October and November, exports decreased by £0.2bn to £42.0bn and imports decreased by £1.0bn to £43.4bn.

Total production decreased by 0.1% between October 2014 and November 2014. There were decreases in three of the main sectors, with mining & quarrying being the largest contributor, decreasing by 3.7%.

Manufacturing output increased by 0.7% between October 2014 and November 2014. The main contributors to the increase were other manufacturing & repair; the manufacture of basic metals & metal products; the manufacture of transport equipment.

Total production output increased by 1.1% in November 2014 compared with November 2013. Of the four main sectors, manufacturing (the largest component of production) was the only one to rise, increasing by 2.7%.

There were increases in seven of the 13 manufacturing components compared with a year ago and the largest contributor was the manufacture of food products, beverages & tobacco.

Construction output dipped 2% month-on-month following an October decline. Construction output is 3.6% higher from a year ago.

Comparing the three months, September to November 2014, with the previous three months, June to August 2014, construction output fell by 0.9%. Repair and maintenance decreased by 2.5% while all new work was flat.

INSEE, the French national statistics office reported that In November 2014, manufacturing output decreased (–0.6%, after –0.1% in October). Output declined more moderately in industrial production as a whole (–0.3% after –0.7% in October).

During the last three months (q-o-q), output remained stable in the manufacturing sector, while it declined in industry as a whole (–0.5%).

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