BERLIN, March 24 (Reuters) - German building contracts rose by 10.6 percent on the year in January, data showed on Monday, suggesting 2014 got off to a good start for the construction industry in Europe's largest economy.
Data from the federal statistics office showed growth in bookings slowed slightly from December, when construction contracts were up 12.2 percent, but was still significantly better than in early 2013, when orders fell each month between January and March. They fell most recently in October.
Total turnover in the sector, which is benefiting from a mild winter, increased by 21.7 percent on the year in January to around 4.8 billion euros.
Leading industry associations expect sales in the German construction sector to climb by 3.5 percent this year thanks largely to strong demand for homes. (Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by John Stonestreet)