Industrial production in the eurozone grew by
0.5 percent in February, the European Union's statistics office said
Thursday, beating expectations with the first monthly increase in the
index since August.
The consensus forecast was for a 0.2 percent drop in output, Martin van Vliet from ING Bank said.
"However, the overall figures were boosted by a weather-induced 7.7 percent surge in energy production, reflecting the impact of the cold snap that swept across parts of the region in the first half of the month," he said.
"February's eurozone industrial production figures were boosted by temporary factors and do not alter the bleak outlook for the overall economy," Jonathan Loynes from Capital Economics, a London-based economic research outfit, said in a note.
Revising statistics announced last month, Eurostat said that euro area industrial production was unchanged in January. It had estimated that an increase of 0.2 percent compared to December.
Marco Valli from Italy's Unicredit bank said eurozone industrial production in January-February was down 0.5 percent compared to the average in the last quarter of 2011.
The latest uptick in the index was still consistent with Unicredit's expectation of zero eurozone growth in the first quarter of 2012, "although weak retail and construction activity continue to pose some downside risks to our call," Valli said.
In the 27-member E.U., industrial output was up by 0.2 percent compared to January.
On a yearly basis, February figures were down by 1.8 percent both in the eurozone and the E.U.
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