Euro-Area Manufacturing Output in February Down for the 19-th Month image

Manufacturing output in the Euro-area dropped in February for the 19th straight month as the region still didn’t manage to emerge from recession.

London-based Markit Economics announced today, March 1st, that a gauge of manufacturing in the Euro-area comprising 17 nations held at 47.9, surpassing the previous estimate of 47.8 made on February 21st. During the fourth quarter the recession in the Euro-area deepened, and the economy reached its lowest performance in the past four years, reporting a contraction of 0.6%.

Analysts predict that gross domestic product will drop again during the first three months, but it is expected to return to growth during the second quarter. In January auto sales extended their declines in Spain and France, which means that a rebound of the auto market is not anywhere near.

“Demand is still very weak for small and medium-sized cars and minivans,” said Francois Roudier of the CCFA industry association.

Declines in Europe only suggest that automakers will have to reduce vehicle output by 7% more in 2013. In 2012 auto sales in Europe dropped to the lowest level in the past 17 years, as the increasing unemployment levels discouraged big purchases.