The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Friday’s trading session, as rising telecommunications and pharmaceutical stocks lifted the markets. In economic news, industrial production fell 0.1% in the euro area (EA19) and remained stable in the EU28 in March compared with February, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In February, industrial production also fell 0.1% in the euro area, and remained unchanged in the EU28. Compared with March 2016, industrial production increased 1.9% in the euro area, and 2.4% in the EU28.
For the month, the largest decreases in industrial production were registered in Lithuania (-3.1%), Greece (-2.0%) and the Netherlands (-1.7%), and the highest increases were seen in Romania (+2.6%), Estonia (+2.4%), Poland (+2.1%) and France (+2.0%). For the year, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Estonia (+14.8%), Romania (+10.2%) and Latvia (+10.0%), while a decrease was observed in the Netherlands (-2.2%).