Euro zone output jumps more than expected in Dec
BRUSSELS, Feb 14: 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 per cent month-on-month for a 5.2 per cent year-on-year gain. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 per cent monthly and a 4.2 per cent 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 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 2.7 per cent against the same period of 2016.
Overall in 2017, euro zone GDP rose 2.5 per cent, Eurostat said, the fastest growth rate since a 3.0 per cent rise in 2007.
The GDP of Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, grew 0.6 per cent on the quarter and 2.9 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter with France at 0.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively and Spain at 0.7 and 3.1 per cent respectively.
"For the year 2018 as a whole, a strong increase of 2.5 per cent 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 labor market reforms because cyclical tensions on the labor market are not yet in sight," he said.
Eurostat also revised upwards November production figures to 1.3 per cent month-on-month from 1.0 per cent and to 3.7 per cent year-on-year form 3.2 per cent.
Production of durable consumer goods, like refrigerators or TV sets jumped 2.7 per cent on the month in December and was 7.4 per cent higher than a year earlier. The output of intermediate goods -- like parts for their production -- jumped 1.4 per cent for a 6.6 per cent annual gain.
The production of capital gods rose 7.6 per cent year-on-year in December, accelerating from 6.7 per cent in the previous month indicating investment was picking up too. �Reuters