In September, Euro zone industrial production experienced a decline, aligning closely with anticipated figures, as the output of consumer goods registered a notable drop during the month.
According to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, industrial production in the 20 countries sharing the euro currency contracted by 1.1% on a month-on-month basis in September, resulting in a 6.9% year-on-year decrease. This year-on-year decline marked the sharpest drop since June 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted declines of 1.0% month-on-month and 6.3% year-on-year.
The month-on-month decline was primarily attributable to a 2.1% decrease in the production of both durable and non-durable consumer goods, alongside a 1.3% dip in energy output. In contrast, the production of intermediate goods, such as steel and wood, saw a modest 0.3% decrease, while the output of capital goods, including machinery, recorded a 0.3% increase.
Eurostat also released data on the euro zone's trade performance, revealing that the bloc achieved a 10 billion euro surplus in September, a stark contrast to the 36.6 billion euro deficit reported in the same period a year earlier. It's worth noting that during the previous year, European Union countries grappled with substantially higher energy prices.
When adjusted for seasonal variations, the euro zone maintained a trade surplus for the fifth consecutive month, with a surplus of 9.2 billion euros in September compared to 11.1 billion euros in August.
These developments in the Euro zone's industrial production and trade balance reflect ongoing economic dynamics in the region. While industrial output faced challenges in September, the persistent trade surplus signals relative stability and resilience in the euro zone's external trade activities despite internal fluctuations. Analysts will closely monitor these trends as the euro zone continues to navigate economic conditions in the coming months.