German industrial production drops in May for 3rd straight month in disappointing signal

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BERLIN (AP) — German industrial production declined significantly in May, a third consecutive drop that suggests slowing growth in China and tensions over Ukraine may be having an impact on Europe's biggest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office said Monday that production was down 1.8 percent compared with the previous month. In April, it slipped 0.3 percent — revised downward from the initial reading of 0.2 percent growth.

The Economy Ministry pointed to a calendar effect from holidays in May and expected weakness in construction but said "geopolitical causes" may have contributed. Data last week showed factory orders sagging in May after a strong increase in April.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski said German industrial activity remains strong and companies have well-filled order books, but "the stimulus for a further acceleration is currently missing."

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