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German industrial production rises in sign of strong recovery
[FRANKFURT] German industrial production rose more than analysts predicted, with a fourth consecutive increase in manufacturing adding to signs of underlying strength in Europe's largest economy.
Output, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, jumped 0.8 per cent in April after an upwardly revised drop of 0.1 per cent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said on Thursday. The typically volatile measure compares with a median estimate for a 0.5 per cent gain in a Bloomberg survey. Production was up 2.9 per cent from a year earlier.
The data come on the same day the European Central Bank meets to decide whether the euro-area economy is strong enough for policy makers to give an indication that unprecedented monetary policy will gradually come to an end.
In Germany, the Europe's largest economy, business confidence surged to the highest level since 1991, and manufacturers and service providers are seeing the fastest growth in six years. The country's central bank predicts that "lively" foreign and domestic demand will help the economy continue to grow at a robust pace in coming months.
"The trend in industrial production continues to point upward," the ministry said in an emailed statement.
"The solid development in orders and sales, as well as the excellent business climate, indicate a continued upswing, in manufacturing as well as construction."
Manufacturing has increased in each month of this year for which data are available and rose 0.4 per cent in April, according to the report. Energy output surged 5.7 per cent while construction slipped 0.1 per cent.
A release on Wednesday showed German factory orders fell in April amid weaker demand for investment goods from abroad.