• The Financial District


German industrial output rose by less than expected in September as the coronavirus crisis held back activity, data showed, suggesting Europe’s largest economy may not have the strength of avoid a double dip, Paul Carrel reported.

Industrial output increased by 1.6% on the month, figures released by the Federal Statistics Office showed. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 2.7%. The rise was driven by a rebound in the auto industry, Germany’s largest manufacturing sector, which saw output rise by 10.0% in September after a decline of 10.3% in August.

“The manufacturing sector is gradually fighting back,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement. “New orders and the business climate suggest that the recovery process will continue, even if this path will become even more rocky in view of the pandemic,” it added.

The economy grew by a record 8.2% in the third quarter on higher consumer spending and exports, but an aggressive second wave of infections and a new partial lockdown are now clouding the outlook for the fourth quarter and beyond. A picture is emerging of German industry growing despite the pandemic, while services struggle. A survey released showed that German services activity shrank for the first time in four months in October, a sign the economy was struggling even before the partial lockdown was imposed.

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