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German industrial production posts 5th consecutive increase in January thanks to construction

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BERLIN — German industrial production rose by 0.6 percent in January, a fifth consecutive monthly increase that was propelled by a surge in construction activity.

The Federal Statistical Office's report Friday compared with economists' forecast of a 0.5 percent month-on-month rise. It followed a 1 percent increase in December, revised upward from an initial reading of 0.1 percent.

Construction activity rose 5 percent in January and production of investment goods such as factory machinery rose 0.5 percent.

The German economy, Europe's biggest, is in robust shape with domestic demand strong thanks in part to low oil prices and a weaker euro set to help exports.

On Thursday, official data showed a much-larger-than-expected 3.9-percent drop in factory orders in January, but economists said that didn't appear to be a substantial setback.

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