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Euro-area industrial production increases most since February

[FANKFURT] Euro-area industrial production rose more than economists estimated in July as output jumped in three of the region's four largest economies.

Production in the 19-nation currency bloc increased 0.6 per cent from June, when it dropped a revised 0.3 per cent, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said on Monday. That's the strongest rate since February and twice as much as economists predicted in a Bloomberg survey. On the year, output was up 1.9 per cent.

The data add to evidence that the region's economic outlook is improving, even as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi cautions that a China-led slowdown in emerging markets poses downside risk. Economic confidence is at a 4-year high, unemployment unexpectedly declined in July and growth in the first half was stronger than initially reported.

Industrial output rose 0.5 per cent in Germany, 0.6 per cent in Spain and 1.1 per cent in Italy, according to the report. Production in Greece jumped 4.3 per cent in July, marking the first increase since March. By contrast, French output fell 0.8 per cent after a 0.2 per cent drop the previous month.

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