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Euro zone April output rises twice as much as expected m/m
June 12, 2014 / 9:00 AM / 4 years ago

Euro zone April output rises twice as much as expected m/m

* Industry shows strongest monthly rise in 5 months

* April monthly, annual rises beat market expectations

* Portugal sees record monthly growth

* Data add to positive signs economy keeps growing

By Martin Santa

BRUSSELS, June 12 (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial output rebounded with a twice-as-strong as expected monthly rise in April thanks to energy and non-durable goods production, official data showed on Thursday, adding to positive signs that the bloc’s economy continues to grow.

Output at factory gates in the 18 countries sharing the euro expanded 0.8 percent on the month in April following a downwardly revised -0.4 percent drop in March, against market expectations of a 0.4 percent rise.

When compared with the same period of last year, production grew by a much stronger than anticipated 1.4 percent, following an upwardly revised 0.2 percent rise in March, previously reported as a 0.1 percent drop.

Economists polled by Reuters expected 0.9 percent annual growth.

The monthly expansion, strongest in five months, was mainly driven by a 2.5 percent rise in energy production, followed by a 2.1 percent increase in non-durable consumer goods output.

Production of capital goods was the only sector showing a monthly decline, with a 0.1 percent drop.

Industrial production in Portugal, which exited an international bailout in May and saw strong investor appetite for its bonds this week, had production rising by a record 6.7 percent on the month in April.

Spain had monthly production rising at its fastest pace since August 2012 and Ireland’s industry recorded its strongest annual rise in April since November 2010, according to Eurostat.

Finland and Malta were the only two euro zone countries with production falling on the month in April, while the bloc’s second and third largest economies - France and Italy, returned to monthly expansion in April.

Output in Germany, the euro zone’s growth engine, edged up by a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent on the month as the spring rebound turned out weaker than usual due to a mild winter.

Outside the euro zone, Britain enjoyed its strongest annual growth in over three years in April, showing that the country’s economic expansion was becoming less reliant on consumer demand and the recovery was broadening.

The 9.5 trillion euro zone economy surprised with weaker than expected growth at the beginning of this year as strong growth in Germany was not enough to offset contractions in the Netherlands, Italy and stagnating French economy. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ for April TABLE pls see: ... for GRAPHICS pls see: for more information on indicators pls see: here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Reporting by Martin Santa

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