BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Production at factories in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency increased by more than expected in May, data from European statistics office Eurostat showed on Thursday.
The numbers are a surprise on the upside in a quarter marked by mixed economic data, which underscores the difficulty faced by policy makers at the European Central Bank to rein in a large stimulus package.
At the same time, the European Commission revised down its economic forecast for the euro zone, predicting the economy to grow by 2.1 percent in 2018 from a previous estimate of 2.3 percent.
Industrial production increased by 1.3 percent in May, compared to April, for a 2.4 percent expansion year on year, ahead of a Reuters poll forecasting growth of 1.2 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.
All industrial sectors saw a higher output in May than in the previous month, most notably among producers of durable and non-durable consumer goods.
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Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek