(Bloomberg) -- Euro-area industrial production recovered some ground in February, though by too small an amount to make a likely contribution to economic growth in the first quarter.

Output rose 0.8% from the previous month, when it fell by a revised 3%, Eurostat said on Monday. That increase is in line with economist predictions, which factor in the distortion that volatile Irish data inflict on the region’s overall numbers.

If industry was indeed a drag on growth at the start of the year, that left the 20-nation euro area dependent on other areas such as services to sustain expansion. 

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde noted last week that the economy “remained weak” in the first quarter and will only undergo a “gradual recovery” throughout 2024.

Economists reckon the euro zone probably expanded 0.1% during the first three months of the year, with momentum accelerating in subsequent periods. Overall, the region is forecast to grow 0.5% in 2024.

--With assistance from Joel Rinneby and Barbara Sladkowska.

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