Industrial production in the Eurozone bounced back in January to reach its highest level since 2008.
Output in manufacturing, mining and utilities climbed 2.1 per cent over the month, according to EU statistical office Eurostat. Compared with January 2015 it was 2.8 per cent higher.
Ireland, Estonia and Germany led with monthly growth rates of 12.7 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively. Ireland's industrial production was up 42.7 per cent compared with the same month last year. It also rebounded in France, rising 1.4 per cent after two months of decline.
Production of capital goods, mostly purchased by businesses, jumped 3.9 per cent in January while durable and non-durable consumer goods production rose 1.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent. Total production of non-durable consumer goods is up 7.3 per cent year-on-year.
Energy output increased 2.4 per cent but is down 3.7 per cent compared with the same month last year.
However, economists are not betting on January's strong performance continuing. Factory orders data from Germany has been weak while surveys of purchasing managers have pointed to a slowdown in manufacturing.
"January’s strong rise in Eurozone industrial production was probably just a blip. Survey evidence suggests that the sector remains too weak to prevent the region’s economic recovery from slowing this year," said Jack Allen from Capital Economics.
Dominic Bryant from BNP Paribas said:
Such an upbeat performance implies that there will be some payback in the next few months, particularly as industrial surveys have weakened of late. Production in Germany, which was one of the drivers of January’s strong performance, is now well above the level consistent with new orders, again suggesting a downward correction in the near term.