German industrial orders surged far more than forecast in December, recovering from a sharp fall the previous month and hitting their highest level since April 2008. As Sara Hemrajani reports the data was matched by Daimler's results - the car maker's Q4 profit jumped 10 percent.
The engines are revving at Daimler. The luxury carmaker says it's on an upward curve after posting earnings that topped analysts' estimates. Daimler's fourth quarter profit jumped 10 percent, thanks to strong demand for its Mercedes range. The auto company had been trailing behind its rivals, but its CEO is confident about keeping momentum going. Daimler's bounce reflects a wider trend among Germany's industrial majors. Total orders surged to the highest level in more than 6 years in December. NAB's Nick Parsons isn't surprised. SOUNDBITE: Nick Parsons, Head of European Markets Strategy, National Australia Bank, saying (English): "German products are the envy of the world. They have got some price sensitivity but the fact is that Germany still makes goods that the rest of the world wants. And it's that strength which I think is really going to fire the German economy. The recent weakness of the euro is going to give them a straight forward boost in terms of international competitiveness." German industrial orders had dipped sharply in November, sparking concerns about Europe's biggest economy. But despite the turnaround, ETX Capital's David Papier warns there could be tough times ahead. SOUNDBITE: David Papier, ETX Capital, saying (English): "I don't think the German economy is out of the woods yet. I mean the one problem they have here is that the sanctions on Russia are causing the German economy not to grow as quickly as it had anticipated. You know Russia is the biggest importer of German goods across the world." Still, recent surveys show business and investor morale improving in Germany. Europe's powerhouse isn't running out of steam just yet.