German industrial output falls 0.6% in April: official data
German industrial output slipped by 0.6 percent in April from output in March, the first fall since December, following a revised gain of 1.2 percent in March, figures released on Wednesday by the economy ministry showed.
The result was another sign that Europe's biggest economy is slowing down, though economists still expect it to grow by at least 3.0 percent this year.
The provisional figure for April fell below an average analyst forecast compiled by Dow Jones Newswires, which expected output to be unchanged on the month.
The figure for March had initially been estimated at a smaller increase of 0.7 percent.
According to the economy ministry, the main factor behind the decline in April was a "normalisation of the construction sector," which posted a gain of 5.5 percent the previous month before dropping by 5.7 percent this time around.
Output of intermediate goods used in production processes edged up by 0.1 percent, while that of capital goods was off by 1.5 percent,
The consumer goods category showed a decline of 0.2 percent.
Production in the energy sector jumped by 3.7 percent however, following a decline in March of 0.4 percent.
The ministry also publishes a two-month sliding average that gives a better picture by smoothing out exceptional events, and that increased by 1.7 percent in March and April from January-February.
German industrial orders gained 2.8 percent in April from March meanwhile, but the rate of growth was slower than in previous months, according to figures released by the economy ministry on Tuesday.
© 2011 AFP