German industrial output shows modest recovery in May 2020

Agence France-Presse

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Despite the 7.8% increase in Germany's industrial output, the figure falls short of the 10% rise predicted by analysts

MANUFACTURING. An industrial robot mounts the dashboard on the assembly line during the production of the Volkswagen electric car, the ID.3 model, in Zwickau, Germany, on February 25, 2020. Photo by Ronny Hartmann/AFP

BERLIN, Germany – German industrial output rebounded 7.8% in May, showing a modest recovery after steep falls in March and April due to the effects of the coronavirus, official data showed on Tuesday, July 7.

By category, production of machine tools were up 27.6% on the month, intermediate goods stagnated at 0.1%, and consumer goods were up slightly at 1.4%, the Destatis official statistics agency said.

The May outcome however fell short of the 10% rise predicted by analysts.

“The figure is disappointing. After the sharp declines of the previous months, we expected more,” said Jens Oliver Niklasch, an economist for the LBBW bank.

Output remains down 19.3% on May last year, a sign of the slow economic recovery after the restrictive measures put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Production in the beleaguered auto industry increased in May but was still 50% below levels in February, before the effects of the pandemic began to bite.

German industrial output plunged a record 17.5% in April compared with March as the coronavirus pandemic shut down Europe’s biggest economy.

After two months of lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, the country gradually began lifting restrictions in May.

However, the economic effects of the pandemic are likely to be felt for several more months as the country entered a recession in the first half of the year, with total economic output down 2.2% in the first 3 months.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government expects a return to growth “after the summer break” and “from October at the latest,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told the Bild daily on Sunday, July 5. – Rappler.com

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