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Factory output sees unexpected rise for second month in a row

German industrial production unexpectedly rose in March for the second month in a row, another sign that Europe's largest economy is returning to growth.

Production grew by 1.2pc from February, when it gained 0.6pc. Bloomberg analysts had predicted a slight decline.

While the coldest March in 25 years delayed Europe's biggest economy's recovery from a slump in the final quarter of 2012, these figures suggest it is rebounding.

Factory orders jumped for a second month and unemployment remains near a two-decade low.

"Companies are becoming more willing to invest as worries over the more catastrophic scenarios last seen in mid-2012 for the euro zone recede," said Stefan Schilbe of HSBC.

Still, the deterioration in indicators such as business confidence "indicates that the road to recovery will be bumpy," he added.

Irish Independent