BRUSSELS (AFP) - Industrial output in Europes core eurozone rose in February, beating analyst forecasts as the economy built on a strong January performance, official data showed on Wednesday. The Eurostat statistics agency said February industrial output in the 16-nation eurozone rose 0.9 percent from January when it jumped 1.6 percent, revised down from the originally given 1.7 percent. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a February gain of 0.2 percent. February industrial output jumped 4.1 percent compared with a year earlier after an increase of 1.0 percent in January. For the full 27-nation bloc, output rose 0.7 percent from January and was up 3.5 percent from February 2008. Analysts said the figures confirmed that the manufacturing sector was recovering after months of negative figures. Even though there is a long road to recovery, manufacturing output is clearly on an upward trend, said Clemente de Lucia of BNP Paribas. The sector has been benefiting from the strong demand of emerging countries, notably Asian, and from the weakening of the euro, De Lucia said. Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight agreed. Eurozone industrial production encouragingly came in above expectations and achieved further healthy growth in February, indicating that the sector is currently playing a leading role in economic activity as it is buoyed by robust export demand, a more competitive euro and leaner stock levels. He said manufacturing has clearly had a very decent start to 2010, suggesting that it will have helped eurozone GDP growth improve appreciably in the first quarter from the very disappointing 0.1 percent quarter-on-quarter expansion seen in the fourth quarter of 2009.