BRUSSELS - Euro zone industrial production was stronger than expected in January, data showed on Wednesday, mainly thanks to a strong contribution from energy and despite a drop in German output.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said production in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 1.4 percent month-on-month in January for a 1.1 percent year-on-year fall.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 1.0 percent monthly increase and a 2.1 percent annual decline.
The January result was mainly influenced by a 2.4 percent monthly and 4.0 percent year-on-year jump in energy output, which helped offset or mitigate the weaker results for intermediate and capital goods production.
Output went up despite a drop in Germany, the bloc's largest economy. Eurostat estimated industrial production in Germany fell 0.9 percent on the month, a higher drop than the 0.8 percent fall estimated by the German statistics agency earlier this week.
Large increases in France and Italy, the second and third biggest economies in the euro zone, more than offset the German data. Eurostat said output grew in France by 1.3 percent on the month, and in Italy by 1.7 percent.