Hot on the heels of a 1.20% decline in manufacturing production, yesterday's industrial production data released by the German economy ministry showed a 0.50% contraction. This follows a revised 2.30% expansion in January which was originally estimated at 3.30%. Manufacturing output remained weak offsetting the gains in the construction sector in Europe's largest and strongest economy. The ministry noted that Germany's industrial companies had a fairly positive start to the year and that solid gains are to be expected in both the manufacturing and industrial sectors in the first quarter, raising expectations that March's numbers could see an upturn. On a twelve month basis the latest industrial production numbers fared better, rising 1.30% from the figures of February 2015.