German industrial production in moderate February growth

GERMAN industrial output climbed 0.5 per cent in the second month of 2013, figures showed yesterday, overturning most of January’s 0.6 per cent drop.

“February’s German industrial production figures suggest that the economy’s main engine of growth is ticking over, but only very slowly,” said Capital Economics’ Jennifer McKeown of the economy ministry data.

But compared to a year earlier, output was down 1.8 per cent, McKeown pointed out, predicting that even with services strength the Eurozone powerhouse would enjoy GDP growth of only 0.2 per cent in the first quarter.

“This would be considerably better than the fourth quarter’s 0.6 per cent quarterly fall, but clearly still not a strong performance,” she added.

A more encouraging nugget in the numbers was a 2.4 per cent climb in capital goods production, which Germany’s BDI industry lobby group highlighted as vital for long-term German economic success. “We don’t just want to deliver top products to the world, we also have to make sure that more is invested once again in Germany’s industry,” said BDI chief Ulrich Grillo.

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