zone robust April output boosts second-quarter GDP
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[June 12, 2014]
By Martin Santa
BRUSSELS (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, pointing to an acceleration of economic growth
in the second quarter.
Output in the 18 countries sharing the euro rose 0.8 percent on the
month in April after a downwardly revised -0.4 percent drop in
March. Economists had expected a 0.4 percent rise.
Compared with the same period of 2013, production grew by a much
stronger than expected 1.4 percent, against an upwardly revised 0.2
percent rise in March, previously reported as a 0.1 percent drop.
Economists had expected 0.9 percent annual growth.
"Nice rebound," said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING. "Combined
with still solid confidence indicators, today’s industrial
production data reinforces our view of a growth acceleration in the
second quarter," he said.
The data follows strong euro zone retail sales numbers and a rebound
in German industrial orders in April.
"Q2 is shaping up stronger than Q1," said Evelyn Herrmann, an
European economist at BNP Paribas. "We forecast GDP to grow 0.4
percent q/q in Q2, following the disappointingly soft 0.2 percent
q/q expansion in Q1."
The monthly production rise, strongest in five months, was mainly
driven by a 2.5 percent rise in energy output, 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
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.
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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, German economy
ministry data showed.
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.
(Reporting by Martin Santa)
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