Data published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) showed that industrial production decreased by 3.4% in March, offsetting a 2.1% increase in February (revised from +2%). Economists had expected a decline by only 1.3%. Meanwhile, in the first three months of 2023, industrial production increased by 2.5% compared to the 4th quarter of 2022.
Destatis said that in March, the production of cars and their parts decreased by 6.5% after an increase of 6.9% in February, while the production of machinery and equipment fell by 3.4%. A significant decrease in production was also recorded in the construction sector (-4.6%).
Meanwhile, excluding energy and construction, production fell by 3.3% compared to February. The production of capital goods decreased by 4.4% compared to February, and the production of intermediate goods fell by 3.5%. Meanwhile, the production of consumer goods remained almost unchanged (-0.1% m/m), and energy production increased by 0.8% m/m.
The report also showed that, in annual terms, industrial production increased by 1.8% in March. Excluding energy and construction, production increased by 3.6% per annum.