Zurich. French industrial production jumped more than economists forecast in January, providing some evidence for the view that the Euro-area slowdown may be stabilising.
The 1.3 per cent monthly increase was far better than the 0.1 per cent median forecast of economists. On a year-on-year basis, production jumped the most in 10 months.
Manufacturing alone was up 1 per cent, something that echoes improving readings in France’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, which has risen for the past two months.
The figures come a day after the European Central Bank slashed its 2019 outlook for the euro area, unveiled fresh stimulus and pledged to keep interest rates low for longer. Speaking on Friday, Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said France is better able to resist the slowdown as it’s less exposed to trade.
Also on Friday, Germany reported a huge drop in factory orders in January, though that may have been skewed by a large aircraft order the previous month. The 2.6 per cent decline at the start of 2019 followed a 0.9 per cent increase in December.