German Industrial Output Jumps 2.9% in October

The economy is forecast to grow by 3.6% this year, which would mark the highest annual rate since German reunification in 1990.

Underpinning prospects for record growth in 2010, industrial output increased 2.9% in October,
official data showed on Dec. 8.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a much more modest rise of 0.8%, and the result was more evidence of an emerging two-speed recovery across the 16-nation eurozone.
A breakdown of data released by the economy ministry showed that production of capital goods, those used to produce finished products, soared by 4.6% on the month, while intermediate goods posted a gain of 2.9%.

Output of finished consumer goods was up by a more modest 0.8%.

Production in the energy sector fell by 0.3% meanwhile, but it was a good month for construction, where activity expanded by 1.3% following a small decline in September.

All of the main German industrial sectors had declined that month, but a two-month calculation designed to smooth out exceptional events showed that output gained 1.1% in September and October compared with July-August.

"The trend higher has slowed, as expected, from a strong first half, but it remains solid" nonetheless, the ministry said.

The economy roared ahead in the first six months of the year as Germany emerged from its worst post-war recession in 2008-09.

In October, German industrial orders also gained 1.6% on the month, official data showed on Dec. 7, a positive sign for the last quarter of 2010.

The economy is forecast by the central bank to grow by 3.6% this year, which would mark the highest annual rate since German reunification in 1990.

But while Germany and other core eurozone countries are benefiting from strong activity, partners on the bloc's periphery are struggling with debt crises that have stymied growth.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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