Industrial production in the eurozone fell by 2.5 per cent during September, the largest fall since January 2009.
The drop in industrial production was fuelled by a steep decline of 3.2 per cent in France and significant fall in production in Spain, Germany and Italy.
Markit chief economist Chris Williamson says strong increases in output earlier in the summer, was linked mainly a temporary hike in car production in several countries.
He says the summer’s upsurge in output is now giving way to a steep downturn in factory activity across the region.
Williamson adds: “The steep fall in production will probably do little to change the views among policymakers at the ECB that further easing of policy is warranted.”
Capital Economics European economist Ben May says: “September’s plunge in euro-zone industrial production and the weak Greek and Portuguese third quarter GDP data provided additional firm evidence that the region’s economic problems continue to mount.”