Though the Euro-area economy continues to struggle, Germany is showing signs of recovery. The nation's industrial output in March 2013 was up 1.2 percent from the previous month, defying a majority of annalists who had predict output numbers would actually decline by 0.1 percent, according to Bloomberg, The expectations-beating industrial figures followed an announcement that German factory orders were up 2.2 percent for the second month in a row in March, also defying forecasts.
"German industry has entered the current quarter with a lot of momentum," said Deutsche Postbank AG economist Heinrich Bayer. "We expect a strong pickup in growth this quarter after a 0.2 percent increase in gross domestic product in the first quarter."
Stronger than expected German figures pushed a rally in European stocks – the Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.4 percent to a near five-year high while the German Dax rose 0.6 percent.
Despite the fact that Europe's largest economy, Germany, is stabilizing, the same can not be said for the rest of the Euro-zone, which continues to struggle, noted Bloomberg. The European Commission predicts the euro economy will shrink an additional 0.4 percent in 2013, after contracting by 0.6 percent in 2012. Services and manufacturing shrank for the 15th consecutive month in the euro-area while retail sales declined in March.