Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - Page 15 News List

German industrial output surpasses February forecast


German industrial output rose for a fourth consecutive month in February in a sign that growth in Europe’s largest economy continued to accelerate.

Production, adjusted for seasonal swings, climbed 0.4 percent from January, when it gained a revised 0.7 percent, Germany’s Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said yesterday. Economists predicted an increase of 0.3 percent, according to the median of 34 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Production jumped 4.8 percent in February from the previous year, when adjusted for working days.

The German economy saw a “substantial strengthening” in the first quarter, the Bundesbank said last month, citing a recovery in the eurozone and warm winter weather that bolstered construction. Factory orders expanded and unemployment declined in February, though gauges of business confidence and manufacturing activity highlighted risks ranging from a slowdown in China to mounting tensions with Russia.

“We believe that the growth trend for German industrial production will continue,” said Johannes Gareis, an economist at Natixis in Frankfurt.

Manufacturing rose 0.5 percent, consumer-goods output rose 0.3 percent and intermediate goods production advanced 1.3 percent, the report showed. Construction output dropped 0.1 percent after surging 4.5 percent in January. Energy output slid 0.9 percent.

RWE AG, Germany’s biggest power producer, started building its biggest onshore wind farm this month. Car registrations rose for a fourth month last month, as Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit posted its best monthly sales ever.

The German economy grew 0.4 percent in the three months through December last year. Germany’s statistics office is to publish first-quarter data on May 15.

The European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.25 percent last week and President Mario Draghi said officials are ready to use all possible tools, including quantitative easing, to head off the threat of deflation in the eurozone.

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