German industrial production up for 3rd consecutive month

BERLIN (AP) — German industrial production increased for the third consecutive month in July, but the gain was relatively modest following bigger gains in the immediate aftermath of this spring’s shutdowns, official data showed yesterday.

Production rose 1.2 per cent compared with the previous month, the Economy Ministry said.

That followed gains of 7.4 per cent in May and 9.3 per cent in June as activity in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, recovered from big drops in March and April.

The ministry said that production has returned to nearly 90 per cent of its level in last year’s fourth quarter, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The data followed figures last week showing that factory orders were up 2.8 per cent in July, slowing from gains of 10.4 per cent in May and 28.8 per cent in June.

The government said last week that the economy is performing better than expected following the easing of Germany’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions, which were less drastic than in some other European countries. It is now predicting that the economy will contract by 5.8 per cent this year, a somewhat more optimistic outlook than the 6.3 per cent it forecast in late April.