Eurozone industry output shrinks, stokes talk of recession

BRUSSELS (AP) — Official figures show that industry across the 19-country eurozone endured in 2018 its worst year since the recession after the global financial crisis, with a broad-based slowdown across countries and sectors.

Statistics agency Eurostat said Wednesday that industrial output in the single currency bloc was 4.2 percent lower in December than the year before. That's the worst performance since November 2009.

The figure was weighed down by a bigger than expected month-on-month decline. In December, output was down 0.9 percent against expectations for a 0.4 percent fall.

The news could ratchet up expectations that eurozone growth in the fourth quarter may be revised down from a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent.

Andrew Kenningham, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said the "risk of an outright recession has clearly risen."