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German industrial output at its fastest growth rate in February

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Introduction: German industrial production registered its fastest growth rate in a year, propelled by robust expansions in construction and car manufacturing sectors.

Article:

German industrial production has rebounded strongly in the beginning of this year, experiencing its fastest growth rate in a year in February, driven by significant expansions in construction and car manufacturing sectors.

The Federal Statistics Agency reported a remarkable 2.1% increase in factory output in February, marking the second consecutive month of solid growth for German industry.

Growth and weaknesses  

February’s surge in industrial output was primarily driven by a 7.9% increase in the construction sector, buoyed by favourable weather conditions. Car manufacturing output also rose by 5.7%, while the chemical industry saw a 4.6% increase. However, production in the energy sector experienced a notable 6.5% decline, acting as a drag on overall industrial performance.

Exceeding expectation

This growth exceeded economists’ expectations, who had forecasted a mere 0.3% rise. Recently, five German economic research institutes downgraded their growth forecasts, predicting a meagre 0.1% expansion in GDP for the year, highlighting the subdued economic outlook. Additionally, the Bundesbank forecasted a contraction in the economy in the first quarter.

Ongoing Challenges

Despite this encouraging trend, industrial production remains down 4.9% from a year ago and nearly 8% from pre-pandemic levels, indicating ongoing challenges faced by the sector. Furthermore, rising energy prices and declining exports also contribute to the overall difficulties of the German economy.

However, the resurgence in industrial production provides a glimmer of optimism, signalling potential for recovery and renewed growth momentum.

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