By Xavier Fontdegloria
Industrial production in the eurozone rose slightly in March after falling the previous month amid supply bottlenecks that hinder activity in many sectors.
The output of factories, mines and utilities across the currency area in March rose by 0.1% compared with February, the European Union's statistics agency said Wednesday. This is below forecasts from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who expected a 0.7% increase.
In February, industrial output fell by a revised 1.2% on month.
Compared with February, production of nondurable consumer goods rose by 1.9%, energy by 1.2% and intermediate goods by 0.6%, while production of capital goods fell by 1.0% and durable consumer goods by 1.2%, Eurostat said.
Eurozone industrial sector's outlook is positive as accelerating Covid-19 vaccination programs help the region emerge from lingering pandemic-related restrictions and spur demand. However, supply bottlenecks are affecting production in some sectors, particularly the motor vehicles industry, and these strains are unlikely to fully fade until the end of the year, economists say.
On an annual basis, industrial production rose 10.9%, less than the forecast of a 11.7% increase expected by economists. This surge is partly due to the comparison with exceptionally low data in March 2020, when many factories were ordered to shut and the economy was brought to a near halt amid the public health crisis.
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