German production data point to gradual improvement
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has released the production data for March 2014.
With total output in the goods producing sector increasing by 0.4%, growth has been slightly more pronounced as anticipated.
In contrast to earlier months, the strongest increase in production took place in the intermediate inputs sector with 1.3%, whereas the production of consumption goods only increased by 0.3% , production of investment goods declined by 0.2%.
According to the (BMWi), foreign trade and investment has been the driving force behind the recent growth figures, with exports growing by 1.4% in the three-month comparison. While private and public-sector consumption remained below expectations, imports rose by 4.1% during the last month.
These figures sketch a more positive image than Markit’s recent PMI index for Germany, which fell from 52.1 in February to 50.2 in March 2014. The recent decline was largely caused by a reduction of sales activities due to inventory surpluses as well as slower growth of input costs.
At the same time, a yoy comparison of German PMI data illustrates a largely positive development. Last year’s PMI for March was at 49.0, 46% of respondents reported higher profits compared to last year.