BRUSSELS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial production jumped more than expected in December, boosted by the output of durable consumer goods and intermediate goods, underlining the fastest economic growth rate in a decade, data from the EU statistics office Eurostat showed.
Eurostat said industrial production in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.4 percent month-on-month for a 5.2 percent year-on-year gain. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 percent monthly and a 4.2 percent annual rise.
The statistics office confirmed its earlier preliminary estimate of gross domestic product growth in the euro zone in the last three months of 2017 at 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and 2.7 percent against the same period of 2016.
Overall in 2017, euro zone GDP rose 2.5 percent, Eurostat said, the fastest growth rate since a 3.0 percent rise in 2007.
The GDP of Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy, grew 0.6 percent on the quarter and 2.9 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter with France at 0.6 percent and 2.4 percent respectively and Spain at 0.7 and 3.1 percent respectively.
“For the year 2018 as a whole, a strong increase of 2.5 percent is still likely, even if the statisticians have slightly revised previous data downwards,” Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank, said in a note on Germany.
“We continue to believe that the upswing could continue for another two or three years despite the roll-back of labour market reforms because cyclical tensions on the labour market are not yet in sight,” he said.
Eurostat also revised upwards November production figures to 1.3 percent month-on-month from 1.0 percent and to 3.7 percent year-on-year form 3.2 percent.
Production of durable consumer goods, like refrigerators or TV sets jumped 2.7 percent on the month in December and was 7.4 percent higher than a year earlier. The output of intermediate goods — like parts for their production — jumped 1.4 percent for a 6.6 percent annual gain.
The production of capital gods rose 7.6 percent year-on-year in December, accelerating from 6.7 percent in the previous month indicating investment was picking up too. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)