Big increase in German industrial output in March

Wed, May 9, 2012, 01:00

German industrial output shot up far more than expected in March after a weak winter, lifting hopes Europe’s biggest economy will gather steam this year and highlighting its economic divergence with much of the rest of the euro zone.

Production in Germany jumped 2.8 per cent in March seasonally adjusted from the previous month, economy ministry data showed yesterday, recovering from a revised 0.3 per cent decline in February.

The figures were well above the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a 0.8 per cent rise, and overshot the highest forecast of a 2.4 per cent increase.

“Hibernation has ended,” said Carsten Brzeski at ING Bank.

“While almost all other euro zone countries are currently caught in the downward spiral of austerity measures, deleveraging and economic reforms, the German economy is still enjoying the results of earlier structural reforms,” he said.

The jump in output followed a steep rise in industrial orders in March, which rose on the back of demand from outside the ailing euro zone.

The data also countered a string of disappointing German economic data recently. – (Reuters)