German Industrial Production Growth Slows In April

BERLIN (AP) -- German industrial production slowed in April and exports were down, but the government said Tuesday it still sees the country on track for economic recovery.

"The recovery which has been strong after the winter months has continued at a more moderate pace in April," the Economy Ministry said.

"Construction, profiting from the spring pickup, has again gathered some momentum, while the growth in industrial production slowed as expected after the strong surge in March."

Overall, industrial production rose by 0.9 percent on the month in April after a hefty 4.3 percent surge in March, the ministry said.

On the year, production in the two-month period March and April was up 11.0 percent, the ministry said.

Given strong orders in Germany and from abroad "further recovery of the industrial production is to be expected," the ministry said.

German exports, which had also surged in March, decreased by 5.9 percent on the month in April, the Federal Statistical Office reported.

German exports were worth euro75.3 billion ($89.9 billion) in April, the office said. Imports totaled euro61.9 billion -- a 7.3 percent decline on the month.

Exports -- traditionally the motor of the Europe's biggest economy -- were up more than 10 percent in March.

Economist Carsten Brzeski with ING in Brussels said the decline in April was an "almost natural correction after an exceptionally strong month."

He added that exports are set to continue driving the German economy given strong global demand and a weak euro.

In year-on-year terms, April exports were up 19.2 percent and imports rose 15.7 percent.