PARIS (Reuters) – French industrial production rebounded sharply in January from December as manufacturers of capital goods cranked up output at the start of the year, data from the INSEE stats official agency showed on Friday.
Industrial production rose 1.3 percent in January after flat-lining in December, INSEE said, revising the December figure sharply from an increase of 0.8 percent to reflect a change of methodology.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase of only 0.1 percent for January, however they would not have been able to take into account the change in methodology into their forecasts, limiting their use.
The January increase was driven by capital goods production, which was up 5.9 percent from December, followed by refining (up 4.4 percent) and energy and utilities (up 3.1 percent).
Those increases helped offset an 8.0 percent drop in production of transport material other than cars. In recent years, Airbus has ramped up production at the end of the year, leading to a drop at the start of the new year.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by John Irish)