German industrial production was much worse than expected in November, underscoring the headwinds the euro zone’s powerhouse economy faced at the end of 2018. The wide-ranging economic measure was down 1.9 percent from October, according to the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis). It was the third month in a row of decline and much worse than the 0.3 percent uptick forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.
The fall is another indicator of the cooling in the eurozone economy, as global trade battles and political uncertainty weigh on sentiment. Industrial production was down 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago, according to Destatis. Production in industry, which excludes energy and construction, fell by 1.8 percent from the previous month. The production of capital goods also fell by 1.8 percent and the production of intermediate goods, items that will be turned into a final product, fell by 1 percent.
Consumer goods tumbled by 4.1 percent. Energy production declined by 3.1 percent and construction products fell by 1.7 percent. “This headline is much worse than we expected. Production was hit by weakness across the board, but the 4.1 percent month-to-month drop in output of consumer goods did the main damage,” said Claus Vistesen, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Summing up the data in one line, he said: “Berlin, we have a problem.” Eurozone economic forecasts fell again on Monday after a survey of economists by Consensus Economics found that GDP is expected to grow just below 1.6 percent this year, 0.4 percentage points lower than an already conservative estimate from March.