BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial production slipped in May, data showed on Tuesday, against expectations of a slight rise, suggesting that the area's economic recovery stalled in the second quarter after a solid start to the year.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said industrial production in the 19 countries using the euro fell by 0.4 percent month-on-month, for a 1.6 percent year-on-year gain.
It was the third consecutive month of a flat or negative monthly reading.
Economists polled by Reuters had on average expected a 0.2 percent monthly increase and a 1.6 percent annual rise.
The monthly fall was steepest for energy production, with non-durable consumer good output also down.
Production of intermediate goods, capital goods and durable consumer goods was higher in May.
While services are the biggest contributor to euro zone economic growth, industrial production is very important too because of its large indirect impact on other sectors.
The European Commission forecast in May that euro zone economic growth would be 0.4 percent in the second quarter, the same rate as in the first three months of 2015. It sees full year GDP growth of 1.8 percent, from 1.4 percent in 2014.
For details of Eurostat data click on:
Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop