German industrial production rises on construction gains

German industrial production rose unexpectedly in February, driven by strong growth in the construction sector.

The Federal Statistical Office reported Friday industrial production rose 0.7% over January, beating economists' expectations of a 0.5% rise, in seasonally and calendar adjusted figures.

Industrial orders, reported Thursday, fell a strong 4.2% in February and ING economist Carsten Brzeski says the industrial production figures look bad when excluding a 6.8% construction sector increase.

The "data do not bring relief for industry, only for the economy as total," he said in a research note.

He says "Brexit woes and the global slowdown have a stranglehold over German industry" but the sector's struggles can only partially be explained by external factors and that it's too early to say what direction it's heading.