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Industrial output drops in France, Britain, Sweden

Industrial output drops in France, Britain, Sweden

Industrial production in France, Britain and Sweden slumped by more than anticipated in January, official figures showed, further underscoring the scale of the recession hitting the continent's hard-pressed manufacturers.
In France, the statistics office Insee said industrial production plunged by 3.1 percent from the previous month, way more than analysts' expectations of a much more modest 0.5 percent decline.
Meanwhile, Britain's Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output dropped by 2.6 percent during the month, more than double market expectations, while Sweden's SCB statistics reported a 2.5 percent decline, more than the 2 percent expected.
Europe's manufacturers, like others around the world, are being hit hard by the sharp economic slowdown around the world and are increasingly looking at their governments for much-needed assistance.