German industrial output gained 1.2 percent in May from the previous month, provisional figures released on Thursday by the economy ministry showed.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expected a smaller increase of 0.8 percent, following a revised decline of 0.8 percent in April for Europe's largest economy.
The ministry had initially estimated the April drop at 0.6 percent.
On Wednesday, the ministry said that industrial orders had gained a monthly 1.8 percent in May, with an 11.3 percent gain in domestic orders offsetting a decline of 5.8 percent from abroad.
The German economy is officially expected to expand by 2.6 percent this year following growth of 3.6 percent in 2010, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated the forecast could be raised above 3.0 percent in the coming months.
In Britain, official data showed on Thursday that manufacturing rebounded in May by 1.8 percent on the month, only just compensating for a decline of 1.6 percent in April.