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February 6, 2010

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Home » Business » Economy

German industrial production declines

INDUSTRIAL production in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, was down 2.6 percent on the month in December, government data showed yesterday -- a drop propelled in part by weaker car production.

The performance compared with a modest rise of 0.7 percent in November and was much worse than the 0.6 percent increase that economists had forecast.

While production of consumer goods rose by 1.5 percent, there were big drops in other sectors, such as machinery. The Economy Ministry said those stemmed largely from weaker production of chemical products and motor vehicles.

Car sales in Germany were boosted for much of last year by a government car-scrapping bonus program, but that expired in September.

Output in the construction sector declined 2.6 percent.

The Economy Ministry acknowledged industrial production lost the momentum of the previous two quarters at the end of last year, but said the quarter-on-quarter trend remained positive in the October-December period, rising 0.3 percent.

The impact of lower car production was "likely exacerbated by temporary plant closures during the Christmas holidays," said Alexander Koch, an economist at UniCredit in Munich.


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