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Euro industry output rises 0.9 percent in August

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[October 14, 2009]  BRUSSELS (AP) -- Industrial output in the 16 nations that use the euro rose 0.9 percent in August from a month earlier, the EU statistics agency said Wednesday, suggesting the region's economy is recovering gradually.

HardwareHigher production of durable consumer goods, including household appliances, was the main force behind the monthly climb, Eurostat said. This shows that factories are making more big-ticket items in the hope that consumers are more willing to spend.

But the picture is mixed: production of goods for industry, such as machine parts, rose only slightly in August. The output of nondurable goods -- mostly food -- fell 1.3 percent.

August's monthly increase masks a massive plummet in production over the year. It has fallen 15.4 percent compared to August 2008.

Consumer and business confidence has been rising in recent months, a sign that the economic downturn has bottomed out.

The European Commission says it expects the eurozone to pull out of recession in the third quarter, after the currency area's two largest economies -- Germany and France -- returned to growth in the second quarter.

In the euro area, industrial output rose 0.2 percent in July from the month before.

Across all 27 nations of the European Union, industrial production rose 0.6 percent in August from a month earlier and fell 13.5 percent from a year ago.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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