German Industrial Output Grows Most In 5 Months

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Germany's industrial production expanded at the fastest pace in five months in January, driven by capital goods, while energy and construction pulled down overall growth.

Industrial output grew 2.8 percent in January from the previous month, when production fell by a revised 2.4 percent, figures from Destatis showed Wednesday. This was the fastest growth in five months.

Economists had forecast production to grow 2.6 percent after easing by an initially estimated 3 percent in December.

The early hard data on Germany and elsewhere in the euro-zone suggest that growth will not be as strong as the surveys have implied, Jennifer McKeown, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said.

Factory orders data released on Tuesday showed the biggest fall in demand in eight years in January. Orders had contracted 7.4 percent at the start of the year.

Excluding energy and construction, industrial production climbed 3.7 percent, data showed Wednesday. Within industry, energy output slid 0.7 percent and the production in construction declined 1.3 percent.

ING Bank economist Carsten Brzeski said given the cold February, the negative trend in the construction sector could continue another month before returning as an important growth driver for the entire economy.

Capital goods production advanced 6.1 percent and output of consumer goods rose 2.3 percent. The production of intermediate goods showed an increase of 1.7 percent.

On a yearly basis, industrial output remained flat in January after easing 0.1 percent in December. Production was forecast to drop 0.6 percent in January.

Although the order intake in the manufacturing sector was weak, the survey indicators signal a good business climate, the economy ministry said. All in all, industrial activity is likely to revive, it added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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