German factory orders expanded for a second month as Europe’s largest economy picked up speed.
Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 1% in March, after expanding an upwardly revised 3.5% in February, data from the Economy Ministry in Berlin showed on May 8.
The typically volatile reading compares with a median estimate for a 0.7% gain in a Bloomberg survey. Orders were up 2.4% from a year earlier, when adjusted for working days.
Orders were bolstered by demand from the 19-nation euro area, with investment goods up 7% in the region and consumer goods surging 20.5%.
The Bundesbank said Germany’s economy probably gathered momentum in the first quarter on the back of strong consumer spending and a brightening outlook for manufacturers.
Business confidence is at the highest level in almost six years, and data on May 5day is forecast to show that growth accelerated in the three months through March.
“Manufacturing orders continue to be vibrant,” the Economy Ministry said.
“Economic conditions in manufacturing are favorable. This is also reflected by strongly improved business climate indicators.”
Economists predict the ministry will report in separate release on May 9.that industrial production fell 0.7% in March after rising 2.2% the previous month.
By Alessandro Speciale
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2017