Industrial production in Germany dropped strongly in July, feeding worries of a slowing economy at the start of the third quarter.
The Economy Ministry said Wednesday production fell 1.5 percent in July over June. Analysts had predicted a 0.1 percent rise.
Production in industry excluding energy and construction was down 2.3 percent, with the largest drop in the production of capital goods, which fell 3.6 percent.
Energy production was up 2.6 percent in July, and construction production increased 1.8 percent.
June's overall growth of 0.8 percent, however, was revised upward to 1.1 percent.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski says, "even if industrial production data in the summer months is often subject to later revisions, the sharp drop will feed worries about a further cooling of the German economy."