Manufacturers in the U.K. and Germany saw a slowdown in output in October, perhaps feeling the impact of the ongoing slowdown in the U.S.
The U.K's Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that manufacturing output dropped by 0.4 percent in October, with seven of 13 subsectors showing decreases, particularly in the chemical and man-made fibres industries, where output decreased by 2.2 percent, and in the machinery and equipment industries, where output decreased by 1.5 percent.
Manufacturing output increased by 0.3 percent in the three months to October 2006 compared with the three months to July 2006. Seven out of the thirteen subsectors showed increases in output and six subsectors showed decreases. The only significant increase was in the machinery and equipment industries, where output increased by 1.7 percent. There were no significant decreases in the latest three months.
Overall production output decreased by 0.2 percent on a three-month basis. Offsetting the 0.3 percent increase in manufacturing, there were decreases of 1.5 percent in the energy supply sector and 3.0 percent in the mining and quarrying sector. The latter was due to a large decrease in oil extraction output. The majority of off-shore maintenance work took place in August and continued to a lesser extent into September.
Meanwhile, German factory orders have now fallen two months in a row for the first time in nearly two years. Germany's Federal Statistical Office said factory orders dropped by 1.1 percent in October, on the heels of a 3 percent drop in September.
The last time factory orders fell two straight months was in January and February of 2005.