By Fabiana Negrin Ochoa and Joshua Kirby
French industrial production rose far above expectations in May, recording its strongest on-month growth in more than two years, data from statistics agency Insee showed Wednesday.
Industrial output in the eurozone's number-two economy surged 2.1% in May from an upwardly revised 0.5% in April. That compared with expectations in a WSJ poll for a much weaker 0.2% rise.
May's reading was the highest since November 2016 and outstripped that of Germany, where industrial output grew 0.3% in May from the month before, according to data released Monday. Italy sustained the trend with a 0.9% monthly rise.
On year, French industrial output accelerated 4% in May--the strongest expansion since December 2017.
Production rose across the majority of France's industrial sectors, climbing the most in capital goods, extractive industries, energy and water. Output declined in transport equipment, agrifood and coking and refining, Insee data showed.
Eurozone government bond yields were up this morning after the positive surprise in French IP figures, which also modestly boosted the euro, Daiwa Capital Markets wrote. Daiwa said that aside from strong overall rises, manufacturing output rose for the first month since February by an impressive 1.6%.
However, it cautioned against getting overly excited, given the weakness in the beginning of the quarter and expects manufacturing to drop back again in June. Still, "the surge in energy production left total IP so far in 2Q 0.8% higher than the average in Q1," Daiwa said.
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