French industrial production tumbles as recession looms
French industrial production fell in January as Europe's second-largest economy teetered on the brink of its third recession in four years.
Output from factories, mines, utilities and the construction industry fell 1.2 percent in the month from December, national statistics office Insee said in an e-mailed statement. Economists had expected a 0.2 percent drop, according to the median of 25 estimates gathered by Bloomberg News.
The drop underlines the slowdown in the French economy at the start of the year. Since then, factory managers have reported improved orders as global demand recovers even as President Francois Hollande's budget cuts crimp domestic spending.
"Business surveys suggest a contraction in January," said Pierre-Olivier Beffy, chief economist at Exane BNP Paribas in London.