Industrial production in the euro zone fell unexpectedly in February.


Broad measures in the eurozone sector fell unexpectedly in February, reflecting corporate surveys suggesting that growth in the eurozone could ease in the first quarter.
Industrial production fell 0.8 percent in February from January, marking the third consecutive monthly decline. Economists forecast a 0.1 percent rise, according to a Reuters poll.
Waterfalls are the most visible of capital and durable goods. The former fell by 3.6% and the latter by 2.1%. Energy was a bright spot, up 6.8%. Data from previous countries showed that cold weather could be a boon for the energy industry.
Industrial production still rose 2.9 per cent from February 2017, but the growth rate slowed sharply from 3.7 per cent in January and 5.2 per cent in the final month of 2017.
Hard data and surveys show that the eurozone’s economic performance this year is worse than it was during last year’s particularly strong growth period. The global economic slowdown is thought to have been suppressed.

Peter Vanden Houte, chief eurozone economist at ING, said:
It looks as if the euro zone’s upbeat economic data leaves room for a holiday. In fact, the risk of a slowdown in the first quarter is now very real, given that most indicators have been below expectations for the past two months. To be sure, we still think GDP growth will be close to 0.5 per cent in the first quarter, but the momentum is clearly slowing.
Jessica Hinds, European economist at Capital Economics, agrees, saying “the industry has started slowly this year… It shows that the industry will have a serious impact on overall GDP growth in the first quarter. But, she added, “there is little likelihood of a sharp slowdown” because of the overall optimism, if not as euphoric as before.
After the data were released, the euro fell to an intraday low, falling 0.24 percent to $1.2334.
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