Germany's industrial production fell for the seventh month in a row

Germany's industrial production fell for a seventh month in a row, reaching a negative 1.6% in December 2023, compared with a negative 0.2% in November of the same year, according to data released by the German National Statistics Office (Destatis).

Among the worst-hit sectors was the chemical industry, with losses of 7.6%, its worst figure since 1995. Manufacturing production is down 1.5% in 2023 compared to 2022. Energy fell 10.2%, and “the base of German industrial machinery fell. Like dominoes,” Bloomberg highlighted.

Overall, in the fourth quarter of 2023, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.3% compared to the third quarter.

“To be honest, there's not much hope… I don't know if we can stop this trend,” said Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA Group AG, which makes industrial machinery.

The Klebert-run company is nearly 150 years old and has survived the crises of the 20th century, from two world wars to the Great Depression of 1929. Now, it and its more than 18,000 employees face an uncertain future.

Dozens of other large German companies have also been affected by the energy crisis: European chemical giant BASF SE has cut 2,600 jobs, while Cologne-based specialty chemicals company Lanxess AG has cut 7% of its workforce. German template.

“Despite the motivation of our employees, we have reached a point where we cannot export truck tires from Germany at competitive prices (…) the country is losing its greatest strength,” Maria told the agency. French leader Rodger Tire manufactures Michelin.

Another giant in the tire industry, American Goodyear, has been forced to close two of its plants in Germany, eliminating 1,750 jobs.

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A crisis in economic relations with Russia, combined with Washington's efforts to extract high-tech industrial manufacturers from Germany through generous subsidies and growing competition from China, has created the perfect storm for unprecedented industrial unrest, highlights half.

In this context, German companies have been warning for years about the problem, the severity of which has forced even senior officials in Berlin, such as Finance Minister Christian Lindner, to acknowledge that German industry is “no longer competitive”. And the country is “getting poorer”, implying high levels of inflation.

The German government has not only demonstrated its “complete incompetence” but also “showed that they are completely dependent on America,” Alternative for Germany (AfD) lawmaker Eugen Schmidt told Sputnik, commenting on Berlin's insistence on investigating the 2022 attack. Nord Stream, which lost the ability to import more than 100 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year to Germany.

In his opinion, the country is governed by “real agents of American influence in Germany” who implement “American policy in Germany”.

“They have proved their slave status,” he asserted.

As a result, he concluded, the economy is “on the brink of implosion, companies are closing and moving abroad,” and Germany is “forced to pay crazy amounts of money for American liquefied natural gas, while we impose sanctions on pipeline gas.” [ruso]”.

In this way, Bloomberg summarized, the crisis resulting from the rejection of Russian energy supplies was the “last straw” that broke the camel's back for the ailing European economic power, and Germany's days as an industrial superpower were “coming to an end.”

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(with information from agencies)

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