German Industrial Output Rises First Time in Three Months

German industrial production rose for the first time in three months in November, adding to signs that Europe’s largest economy is gathering pace.

Output, adjusted for seasonal swings, increased 1.9 percent from October, when it fell 1.2 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists predicted a gain of 1.5 percent, according to the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Production climbed 3.5 percent from a year earlier when adjusted for working days.

Today’s reading reinforces recent economic data that point to strengthening growth in Germany. Factory orders rose more than economists expected in November and Ifo business confidence surged to the highest level in 20 months at the end of last year, underpinning a Bundesbank prediction that gross domestic product will increase “strongly” in the coming months.

“The recovery in the industrial sector in Germany has been gaining momentum toward the end of the year,” said Andreas Rees, chief German economist at UniCredit MIB in Munich. “We are getting more and more positive signals from the German economy but also from the European economy.”

German growth accelerated from 0.3 percent in the third quarter to 0.4 percent in the fourth, and will maintain that pace of expansion through early 2015, according to a separate survey. The euro area grew 0.2 percent in the final quarter of last year, economists predict.

German manufacturing output increased 3.1 percent in November, with production of investment goods rising 5.1 percent, today’s report showed.

Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit, the world’s second-biggest maker of luxury cars, said last month it plans to spend 22 billion euros ($30 billion) through 2018 on developing new models and expanding production.

The European Central Bank will hold its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.25 percent today, according to all 51 economists in a separate survey. The decision will be announced at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt.

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