In a statement, the German Economy Ministry said: “The industrial sector is expected to remain subdued given the weak development in orders and the gloomier business climate.
“The construction sector remains in a boom. The relatively mild weather contributed to the good result in February.”
This provided the Eurozone’s largest economy with a glimmer of hope following a slew of negative data this week.
Commenting on the data, ING economist Carsten Brzeski said: “A warm thank you to the construction sector. More generally speaking, German industry remains an international reason for concern. Brexit woes and the global slowdown have a stranglehold over German industry.”
Meanwhile, reports emerged that an anonymous senior EU source who said that European Council President Donald Tusk is proposing to offer the UK a 12-month “flexible” extension to Article 50.
Mr Tusk’s plan would, however, need to be agreed upon by all other EU national leaders during next week’s summit.
The reports have buoyed market optimism this morning, leading to a broad-based rise in Sterling.
Unable to make a breakthrough during nearly five hours of talks, cross-party talks between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are due to continue on Friday.
Looking ahead to the start of next week, the House of Lords will vote on Yvette Cooper’s Bill that ensures a no-deal Brexit cannot happen without the consent of Parliament.
If the Lords vote for the Bill, it is likely the pound will receive an upswing of support as the threat of a no-deal would be thought to have decreased.
On Monday the euro may be offered some support following the release of the German trade balance figures.
If February’s trade balance rises by €18.9billion or higher, as is forecast, it could cause an upswing in support for the single currency.
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