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German industry output falls sharply in March, but exports rise
[BERLIN] German industrial output fell more than expected in March, but exports posed a surprisingly strong increase, data showed on Tuesday, pointing to a mixed performance by Europe's largest economy at the end of an overall solid first quarter.
Industrial output fell by 1.3 per cent, the strongest monthly decline since August 2014, data from the Economy Ministry showed. The figure came in below the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a 0.2 per cent fall.
In the first quarter overall, industrial output rose by 1.8 per cent on the quarter, the ministry said, adding that construction and capital goods posed the strong hikes. "The industrial sector has overcome its foreign trade related weak phase of the second half of 2015," the Economy Ministry said. "The economic trend in the industrial sector is currently pointing upward."
Separate data from the Federal Statistics Office showed that seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.9 per cent in March while imports were down by 2.3 per cent, widening the trade surplus to 23.6 billion euros.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected exports to remain unchanged on the month and imports to fall by 0.3 per cent.