Output at euro zone factories rose in September, lifted by machinery and energy.

But the September increase was slightly less than expected and highlighted how few cars and televisions Europeans are buying as the recovery falters. 

Industrial output in the euro zone rose 0.6% in September from the previous month, a partial reversal of the 1.4% fall in August, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said today. 

Economists polled by Reuters expected factory output, two-thirds of which is generated by Germany, France and Italy, to rise 0.7% in September. 

Production of durable consumer goods, including televisions and fridges, fell by 2.6%, the biggest monthly fall since August 2011. 

The euro zone's economy is expected to grow just 0.8% this year after two years of recession, as the hangover from the bloc's debt and banking crisis, along with the crisis in Ukraine, continues to drag on the creation of wealth. 

But production of machinery used to make other goods, an indicator of future business, rose 2.9% in September, although the drop in August was almost double that reading. 

If production of such capital goods continues to increase, that could support expectations of a modest recovery led by Germany, Europe's largest economy.

France's industrial output barely grew in August, while Italy's dropped. 

Eurostat will release euro zone gross domestic product data for the third quarter on Friday, which will give a sense of the fragility of the recovery. 

Today's figures show that on an annual basis, industrial production in September also rose 0.6%, but durable consumer goods production was again weak. 

Even with a stronger recovery expected in 2016, the European Commission sees unemployment remaining high, meaning households are likely not to feel any sense of a recovery soon.