Industrial production across the euro zone unexpectedly slumped in October, official figures showed today.

The fall is another sign that the region's recession is getting worse and weighing on big economies like Germany.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said industrial production fell by a monthly 1.4%. This is in contrast to expectations of a modest 0.2% increase.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, fared particularly badly, with its industrial sector posting a 2.4% monthly decline in output.

Germany has actually seen its industrial sector, made of heavyweights such as car companies Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG, shrink for three quarters in a row.

The euro zone fell back into a mild recession in the third quarter - officially defined as two quarters of negative growth in a row - after its economy contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.1%.

Coming in the wake of a bigger-than-expected 1.2% drop in retail sales in October, the figures have reinforced expectations that the euro zone recession has deepened heading into the final quarter of the year.

Industrial output is a core part of the euro zone economy, not least in Germany which has prospered over the past few years through the export of its high-value products, such as cars and machinery.