German exports jumped more than expected in November, posting their steepest monthly rise in four-and-half years.

The November figures pushed up overall industrial production which drove growth in Europe's biggest economy in the final quarter. 

The data was released by the Federal Statistics Office and the Economy Ministry today.

It reaffirmed expectations for a strong rebound in the fourth quarter of 2016 after the economy halved its quarterly growth pace in the third due to weaker exports. 

German industrial production rose for the second consecutive month in November, edging up 0.4% on the month, the Economy Ministry said. This was slightly weaker than the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a rise of 0.6%. 

The increase was driven by a 1.5% jump in construction output, the strongest monthly gain since February. Manufacturing production was up 0.4% while energy output fell 0.4%.

The October reading was revised up to a rise of 0.5% from a previously reported rise of 0.3%. 

"Production in manufacturing and construction clearly picked up after the weak summer semester," the Economy Ministry said. 

"Both orders intake in manufacturing and construction orders as well as the sentiment indicators in these sectors are pointing to a solid output growth in the winter semester," it added. 

Industrial orders data released last week had already pointed to a busy final quarter for factories with the government expecting the upswing to carry into 2017. 

Separate data released from the Federal Statistics Office showed today that seasonally adjusted exports rose by 3.9% on the month. 

This was the strongest monthly gain since May 2012 and was better than the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a rise of 0.5%, helped by a weak euro. 

German imports increased by 3.5% which was the strongest monthly rise since June 2014 and also much stronger than a predicted increase of only 0.2%. 

The seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened to €21.7 billion from €20.6 billion in October. The November reading was above the Reuters consensus forecast of €21.2 billion. 

A breakdown of non-adjusted trade data showed exports to countries outside the European Union jumped by 7.6% while demand from euro zone members rose by 5.2% in November.

Economists expect the German economy to have more than doubled its quarterly growth pace to some 0.5% in the fourth quarter. 

For 2016 as a whole, the government predicts higher private consumption and state spending to have propelled growth to 1.8%, which would be the strongest in five years. 

The Federal Statistics Office will publish preliminary German GDP growth data for 2016 on Thursday.