German industrial production rises in January

BERLIN (AP) — German industrial production rose 0.8 percent in January compared with the previous month, boosted by strong growth in the construction sector during the country's unseasonably warm winter.

The Economy Ministry on Friday also released new figures for December from the Federal Statistical Office that showed a small rise of 0.1 percent for that month, revised upward from a 0.6 percent drop.

Official data released Thursday showed that factory orders were up 1.2 percent in January, better than analysts had predicted. ING economist Carsten Brzeski says hard economic data is now beginning to match the positive business sentiment recorded at the end of 2013.

He says that with fourth-quarter growth recently revised upward to 0.4 percent compared with the previous quarter, indications are that the German economy should gain momentum.

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