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German Industrial Output, Exports Continue To Rise

germany jun07 08jan21 lt

Germany's industrial production and exports continued to grow in November, raising hopes that the economy could avoid a contraction in the fourth quarter, official data revealed Friday.

Industrial output grew 0.9 percent month-on-month in November, slower than the revised 3.4 percent increase seen in October, Destatis reported. However, this was better than the economists' forecast of +0.7 percent.

On a yearly basis, industrial production declined 2.6 percent after falling 2.7 percent a month ago.

Compared to February 2020, the month before the start of the restrictions due to the corona pandemic, production in November was 3.8 percent lower.

Excluding energy and construction, production in industry was up by 1.2 percent in November.

The economy ministry said the outlook for the industrial economy remains cautious in view of the pandemic and the tightened lockdown, but the order situation and the mood in companies have recently improved.

This suggests that, unlike in the spring of last year, industry is less affected by the measures, the ministry added.

German manufacturers withstood the restrictions imposed in November much better than many feared, meaning the economy almost certainly expanded in the fourth quarter last year, Andrew Kenningham, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

However, it will contract in the first quarter as the lockdown is unlikely to be eased until the spring, the economist added.

In November, exports logged a monthly growth of 2.2 percent versus a 0.9 percent rise in October. Similarly, growth in imports improved to 4.7 percent from 0.4 percent a month ago.

As growth in imports exceeded the rise in exports, the trade surplus fell to adjusted EUR 16.4 billion from EUR 18.2 billion in October.

Year-on-year, imports decreased 1.3 percent, but slower than the 6.4 percent decline registered in October. Imports dropped 0.1 percent following a 5.8 percent fall in the previous month.

On an unadjusted basis, the trade surplus decreased to EUR 17.2 billion from EUR 18.5 billion last year.

Exports were 4.7 percent lower and imports 0.6 percent lower than in February 2020, the month before the start of the corona-related restrictions in Germany.

The current account surplus came in at EUR 21.3 billion versus EUR 23.5 billion in the same period last year.

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