BERLIN - German industrial output saw a surprisingly robust rise in March driven by a sharp increase in the energy sector, official data showed Wednesday.
Industrial production in Europe's largest economy rose by 1.2% in March compared with the previous month, according to provisional seasonally adjusted figures released by the economy ministry.
The figure beat expectations of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had penciled in a 0.2-percent decline.
But many had revised their estimate after the publication Tuesday of an unexpectedly strong 2.2-percent boost in industrial orders last month thanks to rising demand at home and abroad.
It was a further sign of gathering momentum in the German economy.
In February, output nudged up 0.6%, a ministry statement said, revising a figure announced last month slightly upwards.
"The improving orders situation in manufacturing as well as (expectations of) catch-up activity in construction should give the industrial sector a boost over the coming months," the ministry said in a statement.
While energy sector production rose 4% in March and manufacturing output climbed 1.4%, construction for the month plummeted 3.1% due to a long, harsh winter after dropping nearly 3% in February.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013