Thursday, October 13, 2011

Slightly Optimistic European Stats

The stats on industrial production in Europe that just came out for August are a little ray of sunshine in what has been generally a gloomy picture on that continent.  The numbers are above and you can see that the last data point is sharply up.  Industrial production is up 5.3% year-on-year in the Eurozone (though not yet back to the pre-recession level).

Furthermore, some of the nation level internals are encouraging too.  Some of the strongest numbers are coming from peripheral countries:

In terms of sector, capital goods did best, with consumer durables doing poorly (consistent with the fact that European retail trade has been declining):

Obviously there's quite a bit of noise here month-to-month and not too much should be read into one good month. Europe is going to need institutional change to work its way out of its crisis.  However, given that one of the major fears in the Eurozone is that the peripheral economies will be depressed by austerity measures and tight money from the ECB, making their debt burdens yet harder to bear, it's nice to see these strong numbers in Italy, Portugal, and Ireland.

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