Germany’s industrial production as well as exports recovered in March amid continued deterioration in imports, figures from Destatis showed Tuesday.
Industrial production grew by a more-than-expected 1 percent month-on-month in March, reversing a 1.7 percent fall in February. Output was forecast to grow 0.8 percent.
Excluding energy and construction, industrial output advanced 1.1 percent. Energy output climbed 1.4 percent and construction advanced 0.6 percent in March.
On a yearly basis, industrial output logged a growth of 3.2 percent versus 2.2 percent increase in February. Economists had forecast an annual increase of 3 percent.
The economy ministry said following the strong growth over the course of 2017, production in the manufacturing sector took a breather in the first quarter.
After a calm phase, production in the manufacturing sector will pick up speed as the year progresses, the ministry added.
Another report from the statistical office showed that exports climbed 1.7 percent on month, in contrast to a 3.1 percent fall in February. Shipments were expected to grow 1.8 percent. This was the first increase since November 2017.
Meanwhile, imports slid unexpectedly by 0.9 percent after declining 1.4 percent a month ago. Economists had forecast a 1 percent rise.
As a result, the trade surplus increased to a seasonally adjusted EUR 22 billion from EUR 19.4 billion surplus seen in February.
On a yearly basis, exports fell 1.8 percent, reversing a 2.4 percent rise a month ago. Similarly, imports decreased 2.3 percent after expanding 4.7 percent in February.
On an unadjusted basis, the trade surplus rose slightly to EUR 25.2 billion from EUR 25.1 billion in the same period of last year. The expected level of surplus was EUR 23.1 billion.
Meanwhile, the current account surplus decreased to EUR 29.1 billion from EUR 32.7 billion in March 2017.
March’s improvements in German industrial production and the trade balance support the assessment that while the first quarter was a pretty poor quarter, this will not mark the start of a sustained economic slowdown, Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.