German output drops unexpectedly in September

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Industrial output in Germany slipped slightly in September, official figures showed on Monday, but authorities said they expected production to climb as Europe's top economy powers strongly out of recession.

Output dropped by 0.8 percent compared to August, the economy ministry said, wrong-footing analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who had expected a gain of 0.5 percent on the month.

The ministry also revised lower its growth figure for August, to 1.5 percent from a previous estimate of 1.7 percent.

Despite the unexpected decline, the ministry said prospects were bright.

"Industrial production is still trending upwards. In the third quarter, output could again rise above the level of the second quarter, when we saw strong growth," the ministry said in a statement.

"We are still getting some impetus from industry. The upward trend is, however, weakening as we expected," the statement added.

On Friday, the economy ministry said industrial orders had plummeted by a month-on-month four percent in September, the sharpest fall since January 2009.

Germany, the world's second-largest exporter after China, was hit harder than most by the global recession as demand dried up for its goods.

But as the world economy has recovered, Germany has rebounded strongly, with the government seeing growth of 3.4 percent this year after shrinking nearly five percent in 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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