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Recovery under way as orders flood in

GERMANY looks now to be on course for a recovery in construction, according to the Federal Government's latest figures.

Orders in western Germany have risen steeply in four out of the last five months, led by commercial work. The surge in orders for November was also supported by a surprise jump in the east.

Alastair Stewart, European construction analyst at merchant bank Robert Fleming, said: 'It usually takes around two quarters for orders to translate into actual work done on site.

'But this could be accelerated as the weather so far in January has been mild.'

Commercial orders in the west of Germany showed a double-digit percentage point rise in the last three months.

Public work has shown a sustained improvement, up 5.8 per cent for the first 11 months year on year. But the outlook for housing is still hazy, according to the govenment's figures.