Bulgaria's industrial production rose by 15.2% on the year in February 2011, marking the third largest annual growth in the European Union, data by the bloc's statistics bureau Eurostat showed on Wednesday.
Estonia registered the biggest jump in industrial output in the period, of 31.3%, followed by Sweden with 15.9%.
Industrial production in the euro zone went up by 7.3% on average in February, while the annual average increase in the EU countries came in at 7%. Thanks to a rebound in exports, European manufacturers managed to offset the negative effect of measures aimed at reducing budget deficit that were introduced in most European states, news agency Bloomberg said.
"The recovery of the industry will definitely contribute to economic growth in the first quarter, " Martin van Vliet, economist at ING, said. "If production remains stable in March, which is even a rather conservative estimate, the region's GDP will probably increase by about 1% on a quarterly basis, " he said.
The stable development of the European industry, however, is threatened by the high petrol prices and expensive euro, the consolidation of public finances in some countries, as well as the possible higher interest rates the European Central Bank could introduce this year. /Source: Dnevnik/