German Industrial Output Falls, Business Confidence Treads Water

By Agence France-Presse Industrial output in Germany declined by 1.2% on a monthly basis in August, data published by the Bundesbank showed on Oct. 25, revising downward a preliminary estimate of a decline of 1% published earlier this month. A sector breakdown showed that output in both the construction and the energy sectors declined by 1.3% month-on-month in August. And manufacturing output was down by 1.1%, the Bundesbank calculated. Additionally, business leaders in Germany appeared wary about the outlook for the eurozone's biggest economy as the German government insisted that the current recovery would continue, even if surging oil prices would brake growth slightly. Business confidence in Germany, as measured by the monthly business climate index calculated by Munich-based think-tank Ifo, edged up by a meager 0.1 point to 95.3 points in October, effectively treading water for the third month in a row as company bosses stayed cautious about the recovery scenario. Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn diagnosed: "The economy is continuing to grow, but without the same momentum seen in earlier upturns. Employment expectations remain poor." For its monthly survey, Ifo polls about 7,000 companies on their assessment of current business and their expectations for the next six months. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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