Eurozone industrial output rose in May compared with April, the first month-on-month increase since August last year, official figures have shown.
Factory production across the 16 nations that share the single currency rose 0.5% last month from April, but was still down 17% from May last year.
The data comes two weeks after official figures showed eurozone retail sales fell in May, while unemployment rose.
Despite this picture, Brussels says the recession is now easing.
The European Commission has predicted that the official figures will show the eurozone economy contracted 0.6% between April and June, a slowdown on the 2.5% rate of decline seen between January and March.
Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, also revised up its industrial production data for April, saying it contracted by a rate of 1.4%, not the previously reported 1.9% fall.
'Put in perspective'
"May's first rise in industrial production is obviously very welcome news, and reinforces belief that the eurozone economy contracted at a substantially reduced rate," said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
"Nevertheless, it needs to be put into perspective - production was still down by 17% year-on-year."