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[BERLIN] German industrial output fell less than expected in February after jumping in January, data showed on Wednesday, in a sign that the sector is likely to give Europe's largest economy a modest push in the first quarter of 2016.
Output edged down 0.5 per cent on the month, data from the Economy Ministry showed. That was well above the mid-range forecast in a Reuters poll for a 1.8 per cent decline.
The energy sector as well as factories that make consumer goods and investment products reported particularly weak output figures while construction companies posted strong gains.
The January reading was revised downward to an increase of 2.3 per cent after an initially reported hike of 3.3 per cent. "Overall, the industrial sector got off to a relatively good start in 2016 although seasonal factors led to shifts in production and the construction sector benefited from the mild winter," the Economy Ministry said in a statement.
The manufacturing and construction sectors are expected to post solid gains in the first quarter, the ministry added.