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Germany’s mighty industrial engine still looks mighty weak

AP Photo / Jens Meyer
A very rare photo of Germany’s industrial engine, which looks in need of a tune-up.
By Matt Phillips
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Fresh data on Germany’s mighty industrial sector shows output just barely climbed into positive territory, at a piddling 0.2% in November. That’s better than October’s 2% month-on-month decline. (October was somewhat rosier than first thought. It was originally reported as a 2.6% decline.) But it’s worse than the roughly 1% increase that analysts had expected.

So far, Germany has been able to avoid the recession that has engulfed much of the euro zone, a contraction driven largely by the ongoing debt crisis there. But as we’ve told you before, Germany can’t escape its geography. In 2011, some 71% of German exports went to Europe, so its own economic fate is tied to that of its neighbors.

“Output in October and November averaged about 3% less than in the third quarter,” Commerzbank economist Ulrike Rondorf told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. “We now expect GDP contracted by 0.4% in the fourth quarter.” Fresh numbers on Germany’s fourth-quarter GDP are due on Jan. 15.

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