German industrial output rises for fifth straight month in January

Fri Mar 6, 2015 2:54am EST
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By Michael Nienaber

BERLIN (Reuters) - German industrial output rose more than expected in January, notching up its fifth straight monthly increase and providing reassurance that Europe's largest economy got off to a strong start in 2015 after industrial orders data cast some doubt.

Economy ministry data on Friday showed production up 0.6 percent month-on-month, overshooting the consensus forecast for a 0.5 percent rise. The main driver was construction with a 5.0 percent jump thanks to a mild winter, the ministry said.

In a further positive sign, the December figure was heavily revised up to a rise of 1.0 percent from a previously reported gain of just 0.1 percent.

The latest figures mark the first time since early 2011 that industrial production has increased for five months in a row.

"The positive result in January and the upward revision of the data from the previous months underline that the recovery of the German economy is continuing," the ministry said in a statement.

The solid figures come after industrial orders fell far more than forecast in January, casting some doubt on expectations that the economy had a strong start in 2015.

"Coming a day after the sharp decline in industrial orders, today's data provide reassurance that Germany's 2015 upturn is broadbased," Berenberg economist Christian Schulz said.

A recent string of data has pointed to robust expansion in the first quarter, with business and investor sentiment surveys improving, unemployment falling and retail sales surging.   Continued...

Employees work at a factory run by PIKO, a model railway manufacturer, in the eastern German town of Sonneberg, October 9, 2014.     REUTERS/Michelle Martin