Saturday, March 13, 2010

That's Not Soaring

Euro area industrial production for January was stronger than expected with industrial production increasing 1.7% compared to December (compared to the expected 0.6% gain), and with the December change being upwardly revised to +1.7% compared to the initial -0.6% estimate. As a result of the January increase and the dramatic upward revision of the December number, the 12 month change turned positive for the first time since early 2008. During the latest 6 months, industrial production is up a cumulative 5% (which is more than 10% at an annualized rate). This suggests that the fourth quarter GDP number might be upwardly revised and that the first quarter number might come in stronger than expected.

Still, with the 12 month gain being only 1.4%, it is perhaps a bit misleading to describe euro area industrial production as "soaring", as this news story did.

If you want to see statistics that describe "soaring" industrial production, look at Taiwan, where industrial production rose as much as 69.7% in January (with manufacturing alone increasing 77.0%). In the spirit of Crocodile Dundee (see clip below) I therefore say with regard to the aforementioned news story: "That's not soaring. That's soaring".