German industrial production falls well below expectations in December
German industrial production fell in December by 1.6%, after contracting by 0.2% previous month and well below forecast for 0.4% fall.
December’s figure marks the seventh consecutive monthly decline in German industrial production and points to persisting weakness in one of key sectors in Eurozone’s largest economy, which continues to strongly impact economic growth.
Key drivers of further weakening were weak domestic and external demand and high energy costs, with the strongest drop seen in production in chemical industry and construction, as well as in energy related industries.
Production also remained in a downward trajectory in many other sectors, although registering smaller decline in December, which further darkens the outlook for 2024 after a strong warning from sharp drop in exports and imports.
Series of negative figures add to fears of downward revision of German GDP in the fourth quarter after 0.3% contraction in the last three months of 2023, which fuels risk of prolonged recession.
On the other hand, some positive figures, such as strong increase in automotive industry and unexpected rise in industrial orders, mainly driven by surging aircraft orders, partially offset negative effect.