(Bloomberg) -- Euro-zone industrial production unexpectedly fell at the start of the second quarter, casting a shadow over the economy’s pickup this year from its poor performance in 2023.

Output fell 0.1% in April from the previous month, which was revised lower to a 0.5% gain, Eurostat said in Luxembourg on Thursday. Economists expected a 0.2% increase, according to the median of 29 estimates.

The outcome leaves the euro-zone economy leaning more heavily on services to continue its recovery after a growth spurt in the first quarter. The European Commission forecasts expansion of 0.8% in 2024, double the pace of last year.

While an interest-rate cut by the European Central Bank last week may offer future aid to the economy, policymakers are shirking from further moves for now as they gauge the strength of inflation. 

They said last week that manufacturing is showing signs of “stabilization at low levels” after a year when the energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine crippled production in Germany, the region’s biggest economy, with knock-on effects to its partners.

The report on Thursday did show some bright spots. Aside from a decline in intermediate goods, all other categories improved, including a 0.7% increase for capital goods, marking its third month of gains. 

Geographically meanwhile, poor results were mainly seen in the region’s smaller countries, with the biggest drops in Luxembourg, Latvia and Ireland. Of the euro zone’s largest four economies, only Italy suffered a decline.

--With assistance from Joel Rinneby and Barbara Sladkowska.

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