The 17 members of the single-currency eurozone have seen their combined industrial output shrinking at the highest monthly rate in over a year. Analysts had anticipated slight growth rather than the dip.
Industrial production in the euro area dropped by 1.1 percent in October month-on-month, the European statistics agency, Eurostat, reported Thursday, marking the biggest monthly decline since September 2012.
The fresh figures caught analysts by surprise who had penciled in a modest 0.3-percent rise after a 0.2-percent drop in the previous month.
"All in all, the figures clearly highlight the bumpy and fragile nature of the eurozone's economic recovery," ING economist Martin van Vliet told the Reuters news agency.
No sustainable growth yet
"With the area seemingly stuck in low gear, deflationary pressures will persist, thereby keeping the possibility of further ECB action very much alive," he added.
The marked October fall in output was led by a 4-percent drop in energy output, an area prone to fluctuations, while the production of durable goods such as vehicles and electronics items dipped by 2.4 percent.
The 9.5-trillion-euro ($13.1-trillion) eurozone economy took until the second quarter of this year to emerge from a protracted recession, but the outlook is still clouded by record-high unemployment in the southern parts of the bloc.
hg/msh (Reuters, AFP)