Industry up in France and Italy

Industrial output increased in both France and Italy at the end of 2010, official data showed yesterday. The boosts to industry in the Eurozone countries contrasted with a decline in German output, after a severely snow-affected December. Italy’s output rose 0.3 per cent compared to the previous month, slightly above the expectations of economists. French industrial production rose 0.3 per cent in December, confounding average expectations of a 0.4 per cent fall. “Germany was hit by very adverse weather conditions at the end of the fourth quarter while the shock was felt much less in Italy and France,” said Gilles Moec of Deutsche Bank.