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German industrial production beats forecasts for October


BERLIN – Industrial production in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, was up 3.2 per cent in October compared with the previous month, according to official data released Monday.

It was the second set of figures for October to beat economists’ expectations.

The sixth consecutive monthly rise in production was fuelled in part by a large increase in the important auto sector, the Economy Ministry said.

It followed gains of 0.5 per cent in August and 2.3 per cent in September. Economists had expected a 1.6 per cent gain.

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On Friday, official data showed that factory orders rose 2.9 per cent in October, nearly double what economists had predicted, as demand for investment goods such as factory machinery rose.

The figures point at least to a promising start to the fourth quarter. However, sharp rises in coronavirus infections led to partial shutdowns in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in November.

In Germany, restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since Nov. 2, while schools and nonessential shops have remained open. Those measures, which are milder than those taken in the first phase of the pandemic, are expected to remain in place until at least Jan. 10.

“Industrial production should be the bright spot of the economy in the fourth quarter but given the negative impact from the latest lockdown measures on sentiment, services and consumption, this positive industrial momentum should in our view not be enough to avoid a double dip for the German economy,” ING economist Carsten Brezski wrote in a research note.

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