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Business

German Data Point to Stronger Recovery

A flurry of data Tuesday appeared to confirm that the long-awaited recovery in Germany is underway, even if the upturn remains precariously skewed towards the strength of exports rather than any fundamental improvement in domestic demand in the eurozone's biggest economy. Coming hot on the heels of better-than-expected manufacturing orders data on Monday, industrial output numbers published by the Economy and Labour Ministry in Berlin on Tuesday also surprised on the upside. German industrial output rose by 1.6 percent in July from the figure for June, more than reversing a decline of 1.5 percent recorded in June, the ministry calculated. It was the strongest rise in industrial output in Germany in the past nine months. Economists had been pencilling in a much more modest increase of 0.5 percent. Elsewhere in the economy, the VCI chemicals industry federation said companies in German chemicals sector began to see a modest recovery in the second quarter of the current year which was likely to gather momentum in the coming months. And the auto industry federation VDA said output of German car makers was up strongly in both August and in the first eight months of this year. However, a closer look at the data showed that growth is still dangerously lopsided, driven primarily by strong exports, while domestic demand remained weak. AFP