Industrial production in Germany rose 0.3 percent in December, not enough to significantly help Europe's largest economy as it ended the year on a soft note.
The Economy Ministry also said Thursday that, according to revised figures, production in November slipped by 0.2 percent — compared with the 0.2 percent rise initially reported. That followed a 2 percent drop in October.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski said "industrial production in the last three months of 2012 disappointed and confirms the contraction of the entire economy by around 0.5 percent ... in the fourth quarter of 2012.
But, he says "even if the headline figure is no reason to become overly enthusiastic, today's industrial production data indicate that the industrial slowdown has come to an end."