Production costs in Europe stabilizing

For the first time in several months production costs in the European industry remained almost unchanged or even fell slightly. In the Eurozone (EZ15) the production cost index for industry fell by 0.5% in August 2008 as compared to July 2008 and in the EU27 the decrease amounted to 0.7%. In July the respective indices had still increased by 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. In the period from August 2007 to August 2008 production costs grew by 8.5% in the Eurozone and by 10.4% in the EU27.

Monthly changes

As compared to July production costs in industry as a whole (without the energy sector) increased by 0.2% in both the Eurozone and the EU27 in August this year. Costs in the energy sector fell by 2.5% and 2.8% respectively. Costs for intermediate inputs increased by 0.3% in the Eurozone and by 0.2% in the EU27. Prices for consumer goods were up by 0.2% in both regions. Prices for investment goods increased by 0.1% in the Eurozone and by 0.2% in the EU27. With regard to consumer durables prices remained unchanged in the Eurozone and increased by 0.1% in the EU27.

Among those member states which made statistical data available the most significant increases were registered in Lithuania (+1.9%), Luxembourg (+1.8%) and Romania (+1.4%). The most significant decreases were to be found in Denmark and Great Britain (-1.8% each) as well as in Greece and the Netherlands (-1.1% each).

Yearly changes

In comparison with August 2007, production costs in industry as a whole (without the energy sector) increased by 4.3% in the Eurozone and by 4.9% in the EU27. In the energy sector costs increased by 22.5% and 27.1% respectively. Prices for intermediate inputs increased by 6.0% in the Eurozone and by 6.8% in the EU27. Prices for consumer goods grew by 4.1% and 4.9% respectively. Prices for investment goods increased by 2.2% and 2.6% and those for consumer durables by 2.4% and 2.5% respectively.

Among those member states which made statistical data available the most significant increases were registered in Luxembourg (+27.0%), Denmark (+20.5%) and Lithuania (+20.4%). The smallest increases were to be found in the Czech Republic (+5.7%), Ireland (+6.2%) and Slovakia (+6.7%). GERMAN