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Industry

Eurozone industrial output takes blow

Industrial production in the 17-member eurozone has dropped at more than was forecast while the sovereign debt crisis has refuses to go away. Output has decreased in all industry sectors, adding to recession worries.

Eurozone production decreased considerably in September, the European Statistics Office Eurostat reported on Wednesday. It said industrial output dipped by 2.5 percent month-on-month in the 17-member single currency bloc, following a modest 0.9-percent rise in August.

Output fell across all industry sectors, with durable consumer goods logging the biggest fall of 4.3 percent.

The overall slump was first and foremost the result of economic woes in nations at the center of the protracted debt crisis. In Ireland, industrial production shrank by 12.6 percent in September, with Portugal posting a 12-percent dip.

Robust German labor market

Eurostat figures also revealed a 2.3-percent drop in output in the broader 27-member European Union, after a 0.5-percent rise in the previous month. Even the EU's largest economy, Germany, was not able to buck the trend, posting a 2.1-percent decline in output.

But surprisingly, the number of employees in German industry reached levels in September not seen since the end of 2008, with 93,000 more people employed than in the same month last year.

Analysts said the rise in employment in German industry came despite fewer orders for goods and exports declining steadily over the past few weeks. They argued that companies had been parting with temporary workers as the going got tough, but those were not registered in official employment statistics.

hg/kms (dpa, Reuters)