German industrial output squeaked higher in February from the month before after a downward revision in January, supported by the production of capital goods and energy.
February output was up 0.2% from January, after January’s reading was revised to a decline of 0.4% from a previous increase of 0.6%.
The data raise fears that Germany’s economy, the powerhouse of the eurozone, may not be quite as robust as previously supposed. In March, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development raised its German growth forecast to 1.7% this year, from a previous 1.1%, following the European Commission’s upgrade in February, when it said the country’s economy would expand 1.5% compared with an earlier projection of 1.1%.
Despite the on-month decline in January, the statistics agency said Thursday that the average rate of production during the first three months of the year likely improved over the last quarter of 2014.
“Given positive business sentiment, industrial production is likely to have risen slightly in the first quarter of the year,” the agency said.
Manufacturing output was up 0.5% from January, while capital goods and energy production were up 1.2% in February, respectively. Construction output skidded 3.1% on the month, following mild weather in January, the agency added.
Production may ebb in the coming months, after manufacturing order data earlier this week showed a fall of 0.9% in adjusted terms in February from January, mainly due to a 1.6% drop in foreign orders. Order data was well below analysts” expectations of a 1.5% increase.