BERLIN (AP) - German industrial production declined 0.5 percent in February, despite strong construction activity.

BERLIN (AP) German industrial production declined 0.5 percent in February, despite strong construction activity.

The figures released Wednesday by the Economy Ministry compared with an increase of 2.3 percent revised downward from 3.3 percent in January.

Experts had predicted a steeper February decline in industrial production for Europe's biggest economy.

Economist Carsten Brzeski at ING-DiBa in Frankfurt described the figures as a disappointment, noting that "only the construction sector remains an almost inexhaustible source of growth."

Mild weather, cheap loans and a lack of affordable housing in major cities has fueled a construction boom in Germany.

The strongest drops occurred in the energy production, capital and consumer goods sectors.