Industrial production in the euro zone beat expectations to rise for the third straight month in April, helped by a rebound in French factory activity, according to data released by Eurostat.
Factory activity in the world's biggest economic bloc rose by 0.4 percent in April, defying analysts’ estimate of a 0.2 percent decline reported by Reuters. On an annual basis, factory activity declined 0.6 percent, a lesser fall compared to the 1.4 percent decline reported in March.
The surprise pick-up in factory data was led by a rebound in to positive territory in France's industrial production. Ireland and France reported a growth of 3 percent and 2.3 percent respectively, while Finland reported a 5.1 percent decline.
Overall, non-durable consumer goods increased 2.1 percent in the euro zone in April, while capital goods gained 1.9 percent from the previous month. On the other hand, durable consumer goods declined 1.4 percent after surging 2 percent in the previous month.
The consumer price index, or CPI, in Germany rose in May, recovering from a two-and-a-half year low recorded in April, according to data released by the Federal Statistical Office. Inflation in Europe’s largest economy rose by 0.4 percent in May, in line with estimates. On an annual basis, inflation increased by 1.5 percent in May, up from 1.2 percent in April, matching the expected and the preliminary reading reported on May 29.
Data released by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies Wednesday showed that CPI in France rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in May, helped by a 0.6 percent gain in food prices, after declining 0.1 percent in the previous month. On an annual basis, consumer inflation was up by 0.8 percent while economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires expected inflation to rise by 0.9 percent.
In Italy, inflation increased less-than-expected in May as gains in passenger transportation were offset by a large downward impact from fuels and lubricants, data from national statistics institute Istat showed. The consumer price index was unchanged compared with the previous month and rose only by 1.1 percent on an annual basis, lower than the preliminary estimate of 1.2 percent.