Europe was in better shape in July and August than we might have thought. The industrial production data released today by the European Commission showed an upward revision to the previously released July numbers and a 1% gain for August but the momentum remains weak. The strongest growth over the year to August came from the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Poland with gains of between 3% and 6%. Production rose in 13 and fell in 10 member states during the month. Over the year, production was lower in 14 and rose in nine of the national economies. Sweden, Greece, Ireland and Italy suffered the largest production losses with falls of between 8% and 5%. Output in export oriented Sweden has been hit harder than in some of the more troubled parts of the continent as demand for its goods has subsided.