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GERMAN INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT DISAPPOINTS

By NBF NEWS
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Industrial output in Germany, Europe's top economy, was unchanged in February from January, provisional data showed on Thursday, disappointing analysts who had expected a strong bounce, Agence France Presse reported.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a jump of 1.0 per cent in February compared to the previous month.

January's output figures were also revised sharply downwards to a gain of 0.1 per cent from 0.6 per cent.

Construction output recovered from a bitter winter to register a 1.0 per cent gain, but this was outweighed by a slump in production of consumer goods, which fell 2.3 per cent.

After suffering its worst post-war recession, with the economy contracting by five percent last year, the German government has forecast growth of 1.4 per cent in 2010.

Business confidence in the country is at a near two-year high, suggesting that a strong recovery is in the pipeline, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the path to brighter economic times will be long and bumpy.