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Corporate investment lifts July euro zone industry output

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Corporate investment lifts July euro zone industry output

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone industrial production rebounded slightly in July after a steep fall in June, driven mostly by corporate investment and durable consumer goods, official data released on Wednesday showed. Overall output rose 0.1 percent in July month-on-month, the European Union statistics office Eurostat said, following a 0.6 percent drop in June. Despite the only slight increase, the output figures bode well for the 19-country bloc’s growth in the second half of the year, as the output rise was mostly caused by capital goods, confirming business’ upbeat sentiment. The July production data follow the acceleration of the euro zone’s economic growth to 0.6 percent in the three months to June after a robust 0.5 percent expansion in the first quarter. Eurostat said investment in capital goods, such as machinery, rose 0.8 percent on the month, the highest rise among the output components. Production of durable consumer goods, such as cars, also increased by 0.7 percent, as firms predicted higher consumer demand for more expensive goods. The limited growth of the overall indicator was due to a steep 1.2 percent fall in energy production and a 0.4 percent decline in the output of non-durable consumer goods, such as food and clothes. The month-on-month figure was in line with the average forecast of economists polled by Reuters, while the year-on-year 3.2 percent growth was slightly below market expectations for a 3.4 percent rise. There was also an upward revision of the June year-on-year data to 2.8 percent growth, from the 2.6 percent previously estimated by Eurostat.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)
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