Spanish official industrial output plunges in October

5th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish industrial output plunged by a 21-month record margin in October, official data showed on Monday, providing further evidence of a feared end-of-year economic slump.

Production dropped 4.0 percent in the 12 months to October, the steepest decline since January 2010, according to National Statistics Institute figures that smoothed out seasonal variations,

"Every industrial sector showed negative rates over the year," the institute said in a report.

Spain, which posted an unemployment rate of 21.5 percent at the end of September, faces the threat of a recession at the start of 2012 after zero economic growth in the third quarter, analysts say.

The conservative Popular Party, which soundly beat the governing Socialists in November 20 elections, is promising to fix the economy and to repair the state's finances by slashing spending.

But Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, who is due to be sworn in December 22, faces a major challenge implementing broad austerity measures without throttling growth.

A breakdown of the October industrial production figures, adjusted for seasonal variations, showed:

-- Consumer goods output dropped 2.2 percent, including a 0.8-percent decline for non-durable goods such as paper or food and a 13.6-percent drop for durable goods such as cars and washing machines.

-- Output of capital goods, such as machinery used in production, eased 1.3 percent.

-- Energy output slumped 7.5 percent.

-- Production of intermediary goods such as steel or engines dropped 5.5 percent.

For the first 10 months of 2011 combined, overall industrial output was down 0.6 percent from the same period of 2010 after taking account of seasonal variations.

© 2011 AFP

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