German Industrial Production - Economic Data Preview

German Industrial Production is set to shrink for the fourth consecutive month in January, bringing the annual pace of decline to a 17-year low of -15.5%. The down print comes courtesy of tumbling overseas demand: manufacturing is Germany’s top export sector and Factory Orders fell a staggering -37.9% in the year to January. Earlier this week, Germany’s Current Account posted a much narrower surplus than was forecast (4.2 billion euro versus 9.2 billion expected) as exports fell -4.4%. Weak overseas sales are likely to push firms to continue to cut capacity, sending the unemployment rate above 9% for the first time in over 2 years by the end of 2009. This will continue to weigh on consumption and overall growth even as the economy descends into its deepest post-war recession.