9 Feb 2009

German industrial output falls

6:24 am on 9 February 2009

Industrial output in Germany has fallen by a record amount after a sharp contraction in manufacturing activity.

The Economy Ministry says output was down by 4.6% in December from the previous month.

The BBC reports it was the steepest decline since May 1989 and was much worse thanexpected.

The ministry says industrial output is likely to remain weak for the next few months, given a slump in demand for manufactured goods.

Year-on-year output dropped by 12% in Europe's largest economy, which confirmed it was in recession in November.

Manufacturing output was down by 5.3%, with the motor industry affected by a slump in global demand for cars. Energy output was also down by 1%.

However, there was an increase in construction output, which rose by 1.4%.