German industrial production sees surprise dip


Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

German industrial production unexpectedly slipped for the second month in a row in October, official data showed on Thursday, but the rare blip is unlikely to throw Europe's humming top economy off course.

Output from industrial firms fell 1.4 percent month-on-month, federal statistics office Destatis said, whereas analysts had predicted a rise of 0.8 percent.

The drop however was mainly down to public holidays and extended weekends in October, the economy ministry said in a statement, adding that it expected the positive growth momentum to continue in Germany.

"All soft and hard indicators actually point to a strong surge in industrial production in November," agreed economist Carsten Brzeski of ING Diba bank.

"There is no reason to get worried," he added. "Simply keep your seat belts fastened. The fast ride of the German economy is set to continue."

The October drop was led by falls in the manufacturing and construction sectors, while energy production was up 5.1 percent.

Destatis also corrected its September figure from an earlier announced month-on-month fall of 1.6 percent to a smaller 0.9 percent slide.

The German economy has been firing on all cylinders in recent months, powered by strong domestic and foreign demand.

The good times look set to continue with data released on Wednesday showing a surprise jump in industrial orders, and surveys suggesting business confidence is at an all-time high.

"The irony of today's drop in industrial production is that it probably reflects the strength and not the weakness of the German economy," said Brzeski.

"Apparently it is going so well that people and companies can simply afford to take some time off."