BERLIN (AP) — German industrial production and exports dropped in June, official data showed Wednesday — underlining concerns that Europe's debt crisis is increasingly weighing on the region's biggest economy.
Industrial production was down 0.9 percent in June compared with the previous month, the Economy Ministry said. That figure, which was roughly in line with economists' expectations, followed a 1.7 percent increase in May — revised upward from the initial reading of 1.6 percent. Production of investment goods such as factory machinery was down 1.6 percent in June.
Earlier this week, official figures showed that industrial orders dropped by an unexpectedly large 1.7 percent in June, led by a slide in orders from other countries that use the euro.
The German economy, Europe's biggest, so far has been relatively unaffected by the debt crisis afflicting its eurozone partners.
But second-quarter output figures due next week are expected to show growth slowing from the healthy first-quarter figure of 0.5 percent, and business confidence is fading.
Production was "relatively robust" in the second quarter but future is "restrained" given recent order figures, the Economy Ministry said in its statement Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, the Federal Statistical Office said exports — a key motor of the German economy — were down 1.5 percent in June compared with the previous month at €92.3 billion ($114.5 billion) in figures adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects. That followed a 4.2 percent increase in May.
Imports were 3 percent lower, following a 6.2 percent increase the previous month.
In year-on-year terms, the statistical office said that exports in June were up 7.4 percent, fueled by a 19.8 percent increase in demand from countries outside the European Union. In contrast, exports to other countries that use the euro were down 3 percent.
For the year's first half, total exports were up 4.8 percent compared with 2011. Demand from outside the EU rose 11.1 percent, while exports to eurozone partners declined by 1.1 percent. Germany's trade surplus stood at €17.9 billion in June, up from €15.6 billion in May. Continued...