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German industrial production posts 5th consecutive increase in January thanks to construction

BERLIN – German industrial production rose by 0.6 per cent in January, a fifth consecutive monthly increase that was propelled by a surge in construction activity.

The Federal Statistical Office’s report Friday compared with economists’ forecast of a 0.5 per cent month-on-month rise. It followed a 1 per cent increase in December, revised upward from an initial reading of 0.1 per cent.

Construction activity rose 5 per cent in January and production of investment goods such as factory machinery rose 0.5 per cent.

The German economy, Europe’s biggest, is in robust shape with domestic demand strong thanks in part to low oil prices and a weaker euro set to help exports.

On Thursday, official data showed a much-larger-than-expected 3.9-per cent drop in factory orders in January, but economists said that didn’t appear to be a substantial setback.