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Eurozone industrial output in surprise November fall for 3rd consecutive monthly drop

Official figures show that industrial output across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell in November for the third straight month.

The 0.3 percent monthly decline reported by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, was worse than expected. Markets had forecast output would increase a modest 0.1 percent during the month.

The rate of decline has eased following the 2.3 percent and 1 percent drops reported in September and October, respectively.

Nevertheless, the figures are likely to cement market expectations that the eurozone's economy will have remained in recession in the final quarter of 2012. Industrial output is particularly important in the eurozone, not least in Germany, Europe's largest economy. German output rose 0.1 percent during November.