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German factory output growth rebounds in November 2019; trade surplus shrinks

Germany's industrial production rebounded with a better-than-expected monthly growth rate in November 2019 while the country's foreign trade surplus shrank, according to data from the country's Federal Statistical Office.

Seasonally and calendar-adjusted industrial output climbed 1.1% in the month following a revised 1.0% decline in October 2019. This was the steepest rise in 18 months, according to Bloomberg News and Reuters. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for factory output to increase 0.7%.

The production of capital goods increased 2.4%. The production of consumer goods edged up 0.5% while that of intermediate goods slid by a similar percentage.

Energy production fell 0.8% and production in construction rose 2.6%. Excluding energy and construction, factory output grew 1.0%.

On an annual basis, output declined 2.6%.

Despite the rebound, the sector remains stuck "between cyclical weakness, on the back of the trade conflict and weaker global growth, and structural weakness, on the back of disruption in the automotive sector and too little investment," said Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany, in a note.

Separately, Germany's seasonally and calendar-adjusted foreign trade surplus narrowed to €18.3 billion in November 2019 from €20.4 billion in the prior month.

Exports slid 2.3% month over month to €110.6 billion while imports slipped 0.5% to €92.4 billion.

The current account surplus stood at €24.9 billion in the month, according to Deutsche Bundesbank's provisional results.