BERLIN- German industrial output rose much more than expected in October, driven by booming car sales, in a further sign that the export-oriented manufacturing sector helped Europe’s largest economy to get off to a solid start in the fourth quarter.
Industrial output was up by 3.2 percent on the month after an upwardly revised increase of 2.3 percent in the previous month, figures released by the Federal Statistics Office showed on Monday.
That was the biggest increase since June and easily beat a Reuters forecast for a rise of 1.6 percent.
Compared to February, the month before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Germany, industrial output was down by roughly 5 percent, the statistics office said.
In the car industry, Germany’s biggest industrial sector, production rose by nearly 10 percent but was still roughly 6 percent below pre-pandemic levels.
The surprisingly bullish October output figures chimed with data released on Friday that showed industrial orders rose more than expected on the month.
Sentiment surveys and highfrequency data such as truck toll mileage have also pointed to relatively strong manufacturing activity in November despite a partial lockdown imposed to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections.