Eurozone official industrial output turns up in December

Industrial output in the 17-nation eurozone showed a sharp turnaround in December, gaining 0.7 percent compared with activity in November when it fell a revised 0.7 percent, official data showed on Wednesday.

This was the first month-on-month growth registered since August when output rose 0.8 percent.

For the full 27-member European Union, industrial output in December was up 0.5 percent from November when it dropped 0.6 percent, the Eurostat statistics agency said.

Compared with December 2011, industrial production in the eurozone fell 2.4 percent while the EU dropped 2.3 percent, both much better than in November if still in negative territory.

For 2012 as a whole, eurozone industrial output was off 2.4 percent with the EU down 2.1 percent.

Among the major economies, Germany rose 0.8 percent in December compared with November, France and Spain were flat, and Britain put on 1.1 percent.

The stand-out performer was Ireland which showed an increase in industrial output of 8.5 percent in December after just 0.2 percent in November although its figures have been volatile.