Eurozone production in surprise jump

INDUSTRIAL production in the 16 countries in the eurozone increased by much more than expected in January.

The 1.7 per cent growth between December and January was a record jump in the monthly data produced by Eurostat.

Consumer goods like cars, furniture and appliances, rose by two per cent.

The European Commission's latest forecast suggests the eurozone economy will expand by 0.7 per cent during 2010 after contracting by four per cent in 2009.