Germany: Industrial production rebounds in March
May 8, 2018
Industrial production rebounded in March, expanding 1.0% from the previous month in seasonally- and working-day adjusted terms, a significant upturn from February’s revised 1.7% contraction (previously reported: -1.6% month-on-month). The result—the best performance since November 2017—beat market expectations of a 0.8% increase and may allay fears of a major slowdown in the first quarter in Europe’s strongest economy.
The upswing was driven by recoveries in the manufacturing and construction sectors, with manufacturing output growing at the fastest pace in four months. The manufacturing sector recorded a 1.1% expansion in March, contrasting February’s revised 1.7% contraction (previously reported: -2.0% mom). The construction sector also rebounded in the month, with output growing 0.7%, up from the downwardly revised 3.1% contraction recorded in February (previously reported: -2.2% mom). Meanwhile, production in the energy sector moderated in March, easing to growth of 1.6% from the revised 3.8% expansion recorded in February (previously reported: +4.7% mom). The improvement in the headline figure was partially offset, however, by the mining sector, which clocked a 3.6% contraction in March; in February, mining output had increased an upwardly revised 0.2% (previously reported: -0.6% mom).
An annual comparison shows that industrial production expanded 3.2% in March, up from the revised 2.2% increase seen in February (previously reported: +2.6% year-on-year). Meanwhile, annual average growth in industrial production hit a six-year high of 4.0% in March, up from a revised 3.9% in February (previously reported: +4.0% yoy).
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist