Euro zone industrial production fell by more than expected in November and by the steepest amount in more than a year, with a sharp decline of energy output from mild weather. But as Grace Pascoe reports, there were signs Germany is firmly on the up.
In 2015 Germany bore the brunt of Europe's migrant crisis Taking in 1.1 million asylum seekers. Now, in 2016 German builders are reaping the benefits. The HDB authority says it expects construction sales to be up 3 percent to 103 billion euros. Germany's industry authority, the BDI, is also optimistic. Ulrich Grillo is it's president. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BDI PRESIDENT, ULRICH GRILLO, SAYING: "Overall we expect a real increase in the economic performance in Germany of just under two percent this year." The influx of migrants hasn't been entirely beneficial - as recent events in Cologne have shown. But Germany also achieved a bigger-than-expected budget surplus in 2015. At 12.1 billion euros it was twice the expected sum. Higher tax revenue and the auctioning of mobile telephone licences helped. Even the crisis at VW doesn't seem to be hurting the broader economy that much. Richard Hunter is from Hargreaves Lansdown. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HARGREAVES LANSDOWN, HEAD OF EQUITIES, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "The fact that is has got a big auto industry has probably helped the economy along. Auto sales have been particularly strong in the U.S. of late of course. But also Germany has for some years now been cutting its cloth to suit its own purposes." The rest of the euro zone isn't looking so rosy though. Industrial production fell by 0.7 percent in November - that was more than expected and the steepest fall in over a year. A sharp decline in energy output was partly to blame - thanks to a mild winter so far across much of the region.