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German industrial production off 4 per cent in August, week's 2nd disappointing economic report

BERLIN – Government figures show that industrial production in Germany dropped by a bigger-than-expected 4 per cent 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 per cent gain in July, itself revised downward from an initial reading of 1.9 per cent. The ministry said the timing of summer vacations exacerbated the decline.

Economists had forecast a 1.5 per cent decline. The actual drop was the sharpest since early 2009 and followed data Monday showing that factory orders were down 5.7 per cent 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.