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Auto woes drive dip in German industrial output

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Auto woes drive dip in German industrial output

Auto woes drive dip in German industrial output

A plunge in car production drove an unexpected drop in German industrial output in January as Europe's largest economy stuttered amid trade friction and unease about Brexit.

David Pollard reports.


Auto woes drive dip in German industrial output

An upbeat Monday start for Europe's markets .... As shares recovered on merger talk in the banking sector.

But - with the prospect of downbeat days ahead.

Traders say: no prize for guessing what'll weigh on sentiment.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF SPECIALIST FLOOR EQUITIES AT ODDO SEYDLER BANK, OLIVER ROTH, SAYING: "We will also look at the trade dispute between the United States and China again and of course Brexit is in focus ..." The trade dispute felt here.... Germany's car industry - where production fell 9.2 per cent in January.

With Brexit looming - and the sector facing new emissions regulation - overall industrial output fell 0.8 per cent in Germany.

A half a per cent rise had been expected.

UPSOT (English) OECD CHIEF ECONOMIST, LAURENCE BOONE, SAYING: "Global growth is slowing and Europe is slowing much more than we expected ..." But the figures may come as little surprise after a host of warnings on the global outlook.

From the OECD last week - and from the ECB's policy meeting on Thursday.

SOUNDBITE (English) MARIO DRAGHI, ECB PRESIDENT, SAYING: "We are coming, and, well, maybe we still are, in a period of continued weakness, and pervasive uncertainty." Germany's business daily Handelsblatt, meanwhile, has reported the German government .... as cutting its in-house GDP forecast to just 0.8 per cent for this year.

That would be its second reduction in less than two months.

As for the trade dispute: China's data on Monday shows car sales there fell nearly 14 per cent year on year in February .... The eight consecutive month of decline in the world's largest car market.

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