Euro zone January industrial output far stronger than expected

FILE PHOTO: VW re-starts Europe's largest car factory after coronavirus shutdown

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone industrial output was much stronger than expected in January and was revised sharply upwards in December too, the European Union’s statistics office said on Friday, pointing to a better turn of the year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eurostat said industrial production in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.8% month-on-month in January for a 0.1% year-on-year gain, beating market expectations of a 0.2% monthly and a -2.4% annual reading.

Eurostat also revised upwards the output numbers for December to -0.1% month-on-month and -0.2% year-on-year from the previously reported -1.6% and to -0.8% respectively.

The higher output in monthly terms in January was across all categories with the biggest gains of 0.8% in durable consumer goods followed by 0.6% in non-durables and 0.4% for both energy and capital goods.

Eurostat said on Tuesday that the euro zone economy contracted by more than previously estimated in the last quarter of 2020 against the previous quarter, as household consumption plunged because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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