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Economic Data this Week

European Industrial Output, June 2012:  Data from Eurostat shows that total industrial production (manufacturing, plus extraction, utilities and energy) in the euro-zone was -0.6% lower than in May, while for the EU27 as a whole it fell by -0.9%.  Compared to June 2011, industrial production fell by -2.1% in the euro-zone and by -2.2% for the EU27.

Looking at the data for the major industrial sectors and using the comparison with a year ago, output has fallen in all of the areas, with the largest reductions being for intermediate goods (-3.7% for the euro-zone and -3.5% for the EU27), while the smallest declines was in capital goods (-0.9% in the euro-zone and -1.0% for the EU27).

On the same basis, among the Member States for which the data is available, total industrial production fell in 12, increased in 8 and was stable in Greece;  the largest decreases were in Italy (-8.2%) and Spain (-6.3%), while Ireland (+9.5%) and Latvia (+5.4%) had the biggest rise in output.

Further details can be found in the Eurostat News Release which is available on request from MTA.

European GDP, 2nd Quarter 2012:  The flash estimate from Eurostat shows that GDP fell by -0.2% for both the euro-zone and the EU27 as a whole, compared to the 1st period of the year;  compared to a year ago, GDP fell by -0.4% in the euro-zone and by -0.2% in the EU27.  At this stage, seven of the EU countries have not yet released data, but among those who have, seven are in recession (using the definition of two consecutive quarters of negative growth) – Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, Portugal and the UK.  There is some good news in that the German economy continues to grow, although France has been flat for three consecutive quarters.  Again, further details can be found in the Eurostat News Release which is available on request from MTA.

UK Machine Tool Exports and Imports, 1st Half of 2012:  Exports of machine tools from the UK increased by +18.7% in the first half of the year to £243.6 million, while imports increased by +60.9% to £335.8 million (both compared to the first half of 2011).  The large increase in imports is partly down to a large shipment of metal forming machines from Germany;  judging the exact size of this “one-off” shipments is difficult, but it is around £40 million and came in May.  However, there is also evidence of a general increase in imports which is not unsurprising given the strength of orders that led to an increase in order backlogs.

As a result, imports from the European Union were up by +79%, while arrivals from the rest of the world grew by +43%.  The reverse was true for exports, with shipments to the EU growing by +10% compared to the first half of 2011, while exports to the rest of the world grew by +25%;  China remains our largest export market with shipment growing by just over +20% to £35.4 million in the first half of the year.

If you are interested in more specific details either by product or country, please get in touch with Geoff Noon at MTA.

USMTO, June 2012:  The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) survey tracks order received in the US market and in the first half of 2012, orders are running at +8.8% above the level for the same months in 2011 (January to June inclusive).  The report notes that growth in orders has slowed, in part, because suppliers are seeing order backlogs two or three times above normal levels and also there is the usual pre-IMTS pause.  The regional analysis shows all five regions are ahead of the 2011 position, although only by +0.1% in the case of the North-East area, while both the South and Central areas have seen an increase of +18%.  Copies of the UMSTO News Release are available on request from MTA or can be downloaded from the AMT website at www.amtonline.org.