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Business

Germany Improves Euro-Zone Output

Euro-zone industrial output grew more strongly than expected in July as Germany, the biggest economy in the 12-nation bloc, led a modest recovery, official EU data released Friday showed. Output at euro-zone factories grew 0.2 percent in July over one month and 0.5 percent over one year, seasonally adjusted figures from the European Union's Eurostat statistics agency showed. "This was in line with consensus (forecasts) and confirms that for the moment the recovery in the industrial sector remains modest," economist Lucy Hartiss of Capital Economics consultancy told the AFP news agency. The figures confounded economists' expectations of a fall in output of 0.2 percent over one month and 2.6 percent over one year. In the 25-nation EU, industrial production rose 0.1 percent in July over one month and 0.6 percent over one year. In the euro zone, Germany led the overall increase with a 1.1 percent surge in production over one month and a 11.1 percent jump over one year. "Germany stood out as the only significant bright spot at the start of the third quarter," said Lehman Brothers economist Phyllis Papadavid. Looking to the third quarter as a whole, she said Germany's manufacturing sector is likely to continue to fare well given an upturn in orders and resilience in export demand.

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