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German industrial output up in July, strongest gain so far in 2015

A German national flag is pictured in front of solar panels in Bad Hersfeld May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

BERLIN (Reuters) - German industrial output rose in July at its fastest pace so far this year, data from the Economy Ministry showed on Monday, suggesting Europe's largest economy powered ahead at the beginning of the third quarter.

Factories produced 0.7 percent more goods than in the previous month, the ministry said. That was the strongest increase since December, but it missed the Reuters consensus forecast for a 1.0-percent rise.

The June figure was revised up to a 0.9-percent drop from a previously reported 1.4-percent fall.

"Overall, the slightly positive trend in the industrial sector is continuing," the ministry said in a statement, adding that order books were filled thanks to strong demand from abroad and that companies remained confident.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel)