Spanish industrial output slows in February

Spanish industrial output fell faster in February, dropping by 6.5 percent from the same month a year earlier following a decline of 4.9 percent in January, official statistics released on Tuesday showed.

The latest drop was in large part the result of weakening production of durable consumer goods, the data showed.

The seasonally-corrected figure which was released by the national statistics institute, the INE, has fallen steadily since August 2011, while Spain, the fourth biggest eurozone economy, has been in recession since the second half of that year.

The constant drop in industrial output eased somewhat in October, when it declined by 3.1 percent on an annualized basis, before posting plunges of 7.0 percent in November and 7.1 percent in December.

All sub-categories showed declines in February, an INE statement said, with production of consumer goods posting a sharp drop of 10.2 percent for durable goods and 3.3 percent for non-durable goods.

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Spanish factories raise output in March

Spain's factories are gently lifting production in response to a hesitant, jobs-starved recovery from years of recession, official data showed on Thursday.

Spanish factories and utilities raised output at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in March, after smoothing out seasonal blips, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said.

It was the fifth straight month of rising industrial output in the Spanish economy, which emerged in mid-2013 from five years of stop-start recession.

Despite reporting slow economic growth, Spain remains scarred by a 2008 property crash, which destroyed millions of jobs. In the first quarter of this year, the unemployment rate edged up to nearly 26 percent.

Spanish industry appears to be reacting to the resulting weakness in the consumer sector, latest data showed, with output of consumer goods easing 0.2 percent.

A breakdown showed production of durable consumer goods such as cars or refrigerators slumped by 4.8 percent while output of non-durable consumer goods such as paper or food edged up by 0.8 percent.

More hopefully, output of business equipment such as machinery climbed 3.0 percent and intermediate goods used in manufacturing, such as textiles or chemicals, rose by 1.7 percent. Utilities lowered energy output by 2.5 percent.

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