LONDON | In came this week the numbers of German industrial production, and those who stir up the threat of an approaching euro area-wide recession saw its arguments confirmed: from March to April, Germany registered a 2.2 percent decline, a whole 1.2 percent under market expectations. The figure, 2.2 percent from 2.8 percent in March, placed that month's industrial production in line with February levels.
Some key sectors have really suffered. Machinery and equipment went down by 6.8 percent, motor vehicles fell by 3.6 percent, and chemical and pharmaceuticals by 3.7 percent. Analysts noted that records have been very volatile of late but data from the purchasing managers index and business sentiment index signal that German industrial production will be weak during the first half of the year.