European industrial output figures disappoint

French industrial output fell by less than expected in May, by 0.4 per cent month-on-month compared to expectations of a 0.8 per cent fall. The fall was driven by a 1.1 per cent fall in manufacturing output, and a slump in refining and the production of electrical equipment.

Italian industrial output, meanwhile, rose by less than expected, by 0.1 per cent month-on-month against expectations of 0.3 per cent growth. Admittedly, it was the first increase in four months. Compared to May 2012, output fell by 4.2 per cent, lower than the expected 4.7 per cent fall.