Eurozone industrial output rebounds in February: Eurostat
(BRUSSELS) - Eurozone industrial production rose in February after being either flat or falling in previous months, official figures showed on Thursday.
Output rose by 0.5 percent in February after being stable in January, according to Eurostat data agency. Production had fallen in November and December.
The February figure beat a forecast by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had predicted a 0.2 percent drop.
The increase was fuelled by a 7.7-percent surge in energy production while capital goods were the only other sector to grow, by 0.7 percent.
The February increase was a "pleasant surprise" but it was "boosted by temporary factors and do not alter the bleak outlook for the overall economy," said Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics.
The factors include the surge in energy production, driven by a harsh winter, and a "suspiciously huge" 13 percent monthly jump in industrial output in the Netherlands, he said.
"Overall, then, February's stronger than expected figures suggest that industry was less of a drag on eurozone GDP in (the first quarter than in the fourt quarter of) last year," Loynes said.
"But the outlook for the industrial sector remains very weak and the overall economy still looks likely to have entered a technical recession in Q1."
Christian Schulz, senior economist at Berenberg Bank, the sector could see a rebound in the second quarter as the world economy remains "relatively stable" and the European confidence crisis is "better controlled."
Text and Picture Copyright 2012 AFP. All other Copyright 2012 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.