german
Tramways run on the wintery Alexanderplatz in Berlin (Germany), January 8, 2017

German exports posted their biggest monthly jump in four-and a half years on Monday, prompting investor hopes of strong new year for the German economy.

According to Monday’s data from Federal Statistics Office and the Economy Ministry, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 3.9 percent on the month, the strongest monthly gain since May 2012 and well above analysts’ expectations of a 0.5 percent rise.

The strong figures were marred by a smaller-than-expected increase in industrial production. The figure rose by just 0.4 percent, correcting for price, seasonal and calendar effects, according to the federal statistics authority Destatis. Analysts surveyed by Factset had expected slightly higher growth of 0.65 percent.

The industrial production figures were boosted by 1.5 percent jump in construction output, the strongest monthly gain since February, but hindered by a 0.4 percent drop in energy output.

According to ING Diba bank analyst Carten Brzeski, taken together the data provide “some evidence that the German economy gained momentum in the final quarter.”

But “the industrial data is still not living up to the expectations created by buoyant soft indicators,” he went on.

In a statement, the economy ministry in Berlin commented:

“Production tangibly revived after a weak summer…Industrial orders in industry and construction, as well as sentiment indicators in these sectors, promise solid growth in production over the winter half-year.”

Investor confidence will be boosted going into the New Year, with the latest data providing evidence that European economies are remaining strong in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

The figures released on Monday also showed a widening in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus, which now stands at 21.7 billion euros, up from from 20.6 billion euros in October. The Federal Statistics Office will publish preliminary GDP growth data for 2016 on Thursday.