Government figures show that industrial production in Germany dropped by a bigger-than-expected 4 percent in August, the second disappointing set of data this week from Europe's biggest economy.
The Economy Ministry said Tuesday that the sharp month-on-month drop followed a 1.6 percent gain in July, itself revised downward from an initial reading of 1.9 percent. The ministry said the timing of summer vacations exacerbated the decline.
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Economists had forecast a 1.5 percent decline. The actual drop was the sharpest since early 2009 and followed data Monday showing that factory orders were down 5.7 percent in August, led by falling foreign demand.
A closely watched German business confidence survey has declined for the past five months amid fears caused by persistent turmoil in Ukraine and sluggish growth in Europe and China.