UPDATE 2-Italy industry points to higher euro zone output

* National data points to euro zone output rise in April

* German, Italian output rises outweigh fall in France

* Italy Q1 GDP revised down, growth driven by exports

(adds Confindustria comments, forecast)

By Gavin Jones

ROME, June 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Italian industrial output rose a
better than expected 1.0 percent in April, data showed on
Thursday, pointing to a rise in manufacturing production
throughout the eurozone despite debt market tensions.

Italy’s output rise beat expectations for a 0.6 percent
increase. Coupled with a 0.9 percent rise reported by Germany on
Tuesday, it should ensure a rise in aggregate output in the
16-nation bloc when data is released on June 14, despite a
surprise drop in France.

Eurozone industrial output rose by 1.3 percent in March and
analysts said a recovery in the real economy still appears on
track despite the problems in sovereign debt markets and stock
market declines.

France surprised on the downside with a 0.3 percent decline
in output reported earlier on Thursday. That compared with
expectations for a 0.2 percent increase but was dragged down by
a sharp fall in energy. Manufacturing rose 0.4 percent.

In Italy, the jump allays fears of a slowdown in recovery
after a rise in gross domestic product in the first quarter.

“It’s a good start for the quarter and it confirms the
indications we have had from surveys signalling that the
manufacturing and industrial sectors are holding up well, thanks
essentially to foreign demand,” said Davide Stroppa of
Unicredit.

April’s year-on-year increase of 7.8 percent was the highest
since December 2000, reflecting the unprecedented decline in
activity during the recession of 2008 and 2009.

Employers’ association Confindustria, which bases monthly
output forecasts on surveys of its members, said the pick-up
would accelerate in May to show a hefty 1.8 percent
month-on-month increase.

“The recovery remains solid,” Confindustria said in a
research note which forecast “further output rises through the
summer, even though at more modest rates.”

However, Italian GDP details released on Thursday gave some
cause for caution.

The economic expansion between January and March was revised
down slightly to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent and was strongly
driven by exports, while domestic demand remained subdued.

Consumer spending around the euro zone is likely to stay
weak, analysts say, pressured by high unemployment and austerity
budgets necessary to rein in public finances.

— additional reporting by Sophie Taylor in Paris, Valentina Za,
Gabriella Bruschi and Gianluca Semeraro in Milan

Investment Basics

(Editing by Jason Webb)

UPDATE 2-Italy industry points to higher euro zone output