May 14, 2014 / 9:09 AM / in 4 years

Euro zone March output unexpectedly falls y/y on energy

* March output down 0.3 pct m/m, falls 0.1 pct y/y
    * Energy output drops 11.9 pct y/y, 4th monthly fall in a
    * Germany only one of 'big three' with annual production

    By Martin Santa
    BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial output
fell as expected on the month in March and dropped unexpectedly
year-on-year because of a steep drop in energy production, data
from the European Union's Statistics Office showed on Wednesday.
    Industrial output in the 18 countries sharing the euro
dropped 0.3 percent compared to February and fell 0.1 percent on
the year. Analysts polled by Reuters expected a 1.0 percent
year-on-year rise.
    It was the first year-on-year decline since August 2013 when
the bloc's industrial production fell 1.6 percent, Eurostat
said, mainly because energy production nose-dived 11.9 percent,
dropping for the fourth consecutive month. It was the biggest
annual drop in energy output since April 2009.
    This offset a 2.6 percent rise in the production of capital
goods and a 2.2 percent rise in the output of intermediate
    The monthly drop was caused by a fall of production across
all sectors, with the output of durable consumer goods - such as
cars - flat on the month.
    Economists polled by Reuters estimate the euro zone economy
grew 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of
the year, accelerating from 0.3 percent in the previous three
months, mainly thanks to exports and rising domestic demand.
    The first GDP growth estimate for the first
quarter is due on Thursday. If confirmed at the market estimate
of 0.4 percent, it would be the strongest growth in three years.
    Germany was the only one of the bloc's 'big three' that
include France and Italy, with output rising on the year in
    But German investor morale plummeted for a fourth
consecutive months in May and hit its lowest level in more than
a year, although production in the bloc's largest economy fell
on the month for the first time in three months.
    The European Central Bank, which is expected to ease
monetary policy in June to decrease deflation risks, said last
week data for the first quarter suggested the recovery was
for March TABLE pls see:        
for graphics pls see:        
for more details pls see: here

 (Reporting by Martin Santa)

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