FRANKFURT (AFP/APP): German industrial production dropped for the second month in a row in February after eight months of gains, as the economic impact of the pandemic began to bite, official data showed Friday.
Analysts said the data raised fresh doubts about the health of Europe’s top economy after it recovered strongly from the coronavirus-triggered downturn of early last year. Federal statistics agency Destatis said industrial output declined 1.6 percent in February after a 2.0 percent fall the previous month according to corrected data.
Analysts polled by Factset and Bloomberg had been counting on an increase of 1.5 percent.
Exports crept up by 0.9 percent month-on-month while imports rose 3.6 percent.
The industrial output figures were “a real disappointment”, said economist Jens-Oliver Niklasch of LBBW bank. “It matches up with the general perception of economic decline during the first quarter,” he added. Compared to February 2020, the month before the first coronavirus shutdown in Germany, industrial production plummeted 6.4 percent.