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July 7, 2020, 2:19 a.m. EDT

German industrial production surged in May

By Xavier Fontdegloria

German industrial production increased sharply in May as restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic eased, data from the federal statistics office Destatis showed Tuesday.

Total industrial output--comprised of output in manufacturing, energy and construction--rose 7.8% in May from April in calendar-adjusted terms. Economists had forecast a 10% increase, according to a poll by The Wall Street Journal.

Compared with May 2019, total industrial output fell 19.3% in calendar-adjusted terms.

In April, German industrial output collapsed by an upwardly revised 17.5%, the largest decline since the beginning of the series in January 1991. Year-on-year, production fell 25% in April, compared with the preliminary figure of 25.3%.

Production in industry excluding energy and construction was up 10.3% in May. In industry, the production of intermediate goods showed a decrease by 0.1%. The production of consumer goods increased by 1.4% and the production of capital goods by 27.6%, data showed.

Production in the automotive sector increased markedly in May, after recording a sharp drop in April. However, it was still by just under 50% lower than in February, Destatis said.

Energy production increased 1.7% and construction was up 0.5%.

Industrial production data follows the largest monthly increase on record in manufacturing orders, published on Monday, which showed a 10.4% increase in orders on an adjusted basis. Despite the strong rebound, the growth rate was below economists' consensus.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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