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Industry Suffers in Germany and France as Virus Forces Lockdowns

  • February output dropped 1.6% in Germany, fell 4.7% in France
  • Economists had predicted increases in both countries
Steel coils sit beside a haulage truck in a storage area ahead of shipping at the Salzgitter AG steel plant in Salzgitter, Germany, on Monday, March 2, 2020. The steelmaker reports earnings on March 16.
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Updated on

Germany and France, the euro area’s two largest economies, both saw unexpected declines in industrial production in February, suggesting that coronavirus restrictions are increasingly harming parts of the economy that have proved resilient so far.

German output dropped 1.6% from the previous month, surprising all but three economists in a Bloomberg survey. Production in France slumped 4.7% and stagnated in Spain.