German Industrial Production Dips In February

Industrial production fell 2.9 percent in February, just short of economists' expectations of a 3 percent slide, preliminary government figures showed.

BERLIN (AP) -- German industrial production fell 2.9 percent in February from the previous month as the global economic crisis curbed demand, preliminary government figures showed Thursday.

The decline -- the sixth consecutive drop -- was just short of economists' expectations of a 3 percent slide. Besides a 1.9 percent increase in construction activity, all sectors saw decreases.

The overall drop followed a 6.1 percent fall in January, the Economy Ministry said. That figure was revised from an initial estimate of a 7.5 percent slump.

In year-on-year terms, industrial production dropped 23.2 percent in February.

Given that new orders are still declining, "industrial production is likely to remain weak in the coming months," a ministry statement said.

The production data followed figures released Wednesday which showed that German manufacturing orders fell by 3.5 percent on the month in February, following a 6.7 percent decline in January. They were down 38.2 percent on the year.

Germany has Europe's biggest economy and is the world's largest exporter. It has been hard-hit by a slump in global demand for its products, and went into recession in last year's third quarter.

Data released this week showed that exports were down 0.7 percent on the month and 23.1 percent on the year in February.

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