Industrial production in Germany declined by 1.1 percent in June compared with the previous month, a fall led by a decline in the construction sector and exacerbated by calendar effects, official data showed Friday.
The June figure, which followed a 0.9 percent gain in May, was dampened by the fact that more working days than usual were lost due to holidays, the Economy Ministry said. Nevertheless, it was a steeper decline than economists expected.
The data come a day after the government reported a third consecutive monthly rise in industrial orders for June.
The Economy Ministry said the overall trend in production remains upward and that high order levels "speak for a solid pace of expansion in the coming months."
June's fall in production was led by a 4.5 percent monthly decline in the construction sector.
German data still point to "solid growth in the second quarter, albeit at a much slower pace" than in the previous three months, ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.
From January to March, Germany _ which has been benefiting from a combination of strong exports and improving domestic demand _ saw spectacular quarter-on-quarter economic growth of 1.5 percent.
Brzeski noted that, for some time, the German economy appeared immune to the debt crisis elsewhere in the eurozone and other threats.
"However, the latest stage of the sovereign debt crisis and panic on financial markets are a worrisome reminder, also for policymakers, that these two worlds are getting alarmingly close," he said. "Strong German growth should not be taken for granted."