Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

German industrial production bounces back gently in April

FRANKFURT: German factory output increased modestly in April, figures published Wednesday showed, as industry in Europe's largest economy reckoned with the impact of the war in Ukraine.

Production was up 0.7 percent on the previous month, according to the federal statistics agency Destatis, having registered a sharp 3.7 percent drop in March.

Output fell by 2.2 percent in April compared to the same month last year, when the coronavirus pandemic weighed more heavily on industry, reports AFP.

Despite the slight rebound in production, April's figures showed that "high energy prices, the Ukraine war and ongoing supply shortages are still having a major impact", said Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics.

Industry's sluggish performance would be a "drag on GDP growth in the second quarter", Kenningham said, forecasting the German economy to shrink by 0.3 percent between April and June.

The headwinds would "build in the second half of the year" as inflation and high energy prices pinched consumer demand, he said.

Already in late April, the German government cut its forecast for growth in 2022 to 2.2 percent from its previous estimate of 3.6 percent.

Broken down, the output of capital goods, used in production, and intermediate goods increased by 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

The production of consumer goods, meanwhile, fell by 1.3 percent in April.