RTTNews - French industrial production dropped faster than expected in April due to widespread contraction in all industrial sub-sectors, especially in the manufacture of petroleum products.

Wednesday, data released by the statistical office INSEE showed that industrial production fell 1.4% month-om-month in April after falling a revised 1.7% in March. Economists had forecast the pace of decline in industrial output to slow to 0.2% in April. Output fell 0.5% in the manufacturing sector.

INSEE said manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products fell 2.7% in April from March. During the same period, production in sectors like mining and quarrying, energy, water supply and waste management was down 6.9%.

However, recent improvements in business sentiment and manufacturing and services PMIs indicate that the economy has passed the worst of the recession and conditions will become favorable for businesses in the coming months. It also shows that the slowdown in the second quarter will not be as severe as it was in the beginning of the year.

The Bank of France recently raised its outlook for the economy for the second quarter. The bank now expects the French gross domestic product to fall 0.5%, revised up from a 0.6% contraction predicted previously.

Meanwhile, data from Italy's statistical office Istat showed Wednesday that industrial output rose for the first time in a year. Seasonally adjusted industrial production rose 1.1% month-on-month in April.

Elsewhere in the euro area, Slovenia's industrial production decreased 24.9% year-over-year in April, compared with an 18.5% fall in the previous month. In Finland, output was down 21% year-on-year.

A day earlier, official data from Germany showed that industrial output unexpectedly declined in April mainly on account of plunging capital goods production. Output fell 1.9% month-on-month reversing a revised increase of 0.3% in March.

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