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[BRUSSELS] Industrial output in the eurozone rose 0.2 per cent in November, official data showed on Wednesday, a modest sign of more solid economic growth despite looming deflation.
"Some modestly encouraging news for the eurozone as industrial production rose for a third successive month in November," said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.
However, over 12 months, industrial production in the eurozone was down 0.4 per cent in November, the EU's Eurostat agency said.
"Overall, it appears that eurozone manufacturers are still finding life very difficult despite the help coming from a markedly weaker euro and very low oil prices," Mr Archer said.
In November, the small rise in output from the previous month was led by a 1.9 per cent gain in durable goods.
The state of the eurozone economy continues to be a major source of worry around the world, with increasing fears that Europe could sink into a long period of Japan-style deflation just as the outlook for the US economy improves further.
Underscoring that concern, in December prices fell by 0.2 per cent in the single currency bloc, dragged lower by plummeting oil prices.
Volatility has also sharpened on fresh worries about Greece, struck by a new political crisis less than three years since problems in Athens nearly destroyed the now 19-nation eurozone.
"This better than expected industrial production figure paves the way for a decent GDP growth in fourth quarter, suggesting that the euro area economy may surprise on the upside this time," said Mirco Bulega, an analyst at Credit Suisse.
Across the 28-nation European Union, industrial output also edged higher by 0.2 per cent in November, and a smaller 0.1 per cent drop year on year.
By country, industrial output in Ireland shot up 4.6 per cent but struggling France dropped 0.3 per cent.