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A bright spot for Germany’s industrial sector at the start of the year.

Following data showing the worst month for factory orders since 2009, the country’s overall industrial sector managed to grow at a month-on-month rate of 2.8 per cent in January, according to figures from Destatis.

The expansion is slightly higher than a 2.7 per cent estimate from economists and means the sector has returned to growth following an upwardly revised 2.4 per cent monthly contraction at the end of December. It was the best performance since August.

Industrial production accounts for just under 30 per cent of the German economy and today’s reading should provide good news for the country’s policymakers at the start of a major electoral year. Germans head to the ballot box to elect a chancellor in September.

Figures out this week on factory orders, a volatile measure of the manufacturing sector, showed growth fell by 7.4 per cent – the worst month in eight years driven by slowing domestic demand.

But the January rebound for the sector as a whole shows December’s blip was caused by one of factors such as factory closures due to cold weather.

Germany’s economics ministry said the momentum was likely to build in the sector in the coming months, matching positive survey data in recent weeks from the private sector in Europe’s largest economy.

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