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March 9, 2017

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German industrial output climbs 2.8%

INDUSTRIAL production in Germany grew 2.8 percent in January, preliminary data showed yesterday, comforting fears that global uncertainty could put the brakes on Europe’s largest economy.

December also saw a smaller fall in production than previously thought, the price, seasonal and calendar-adjusted figures from federal statistics authority Destatis showed, at 2.4 percent month on month rather than 3 percent.

“Industrial production made a good start into the new year,” the federal economy ministry in Berlin said in a statement.

In a less volatile two-month comparison, production fell 0.7 percent in December-January from its level in October-November, the ministry noted.

Data released on Tuesday showing a slump in industrial orders in January had clouded otherwise sunny prospects for the German economy, currently enjoying its lowest level of unemployment since 1990 and high consumer and business confidence.

Nevertheless, “overall, industrial activity ought to continue to pick up” as the year goes on, the ministry predicted.

“After yesterday’s shocking new orders data, today’s industrial production data bring some relief for the German economy,” said ING Diba bank analyst Carsten Brzeski.

But while “some improvement over the course of the year could be in the offing ... this week’s data confirm that German industry is still struggling to gain momentum,” he added.


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