Western German output slips

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The Independent Online
FRANKFURT - Western German industrial output fell a seasonally adjusted 1.5 per cent in June from May because of strong declines in capital and consumer goods production, the Economics Ministry said yesterday, writes John Eisenhammer.

Output was down 6 per cent from a year earlier. The ministry said, however, that it expected the final June figure to be revised slightly upwards.

In May Western Germany's industrial output fell a revised 8.2 per cent year-on- year, and was up a revised 1 per cent from the previous month. Those figures, combined with improved data on industrial orders, had been among the main factors leading eonomists to talk of the worst of the German recession being over.

Jurgen Pfister, senior economist at Commerzbank, yesterday described the June data as a temporary setback. 'No one could expect things to improve steadily at this stage,' he said. 'We do not expect firm signs of improvement before the fourth quarter'.