Grim December for EU’s top economies caps year of trade war | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:04 AM, February 09, 2020

Grim December for EU’s top economies caps year of trade war

Industrial production fell back sharply in both Germany and France in December, official data showed Friday, closing off a year that saw trade conflicts above all weigh on the top EU economies.

Manufacturing output was down 3.5 percent month-on-month in Germany and 2.8 percent in its western neighbour, data from Germany’s Destatis and France’s Insee statistics authorities showed.

In Germany,  “there are very few positive elements to find in the December industrial data,” ING bank economist Carsten Brzeski said, adding that the figures point to Europe’s top economy shrinking in the fourth quarter. The US and China last month signed a  “phase one” trade deal designed to ease commercial tensions, whose knock-on effects last year battered European manufacturers.

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