By Maria Martinez

(Reuters) -German industrial production fell more than expected in December, the federal statistics office said on Wednesday, marking the seventh monthly decline in a row.

Industrial production fell in December by 1.6% compared with the previous month. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a 0.4% fall.

In energy-intensive industries, production fell by 5.8% in December on the month, the office said.

There were particularly strong declines in the important chemical industry, with production falling by 7.6% on the month, and in construction, with a 3.4% decline. Production also fell in many other sectors, albeit less sharply, the statistics office said.

However, the 4.0% increase in production in the automotive industry had a positive effect on the overall result.

In the last quarter of the year, a less volatile figure, industrial production fell 1.8% compared to the three months before.

In November, production fell by 0.2% compared to October, after the preliminary results were revised up from a 0.7% drop.

In 2023 as a whole, production was 1.5% lower than in 2022 after calendar adjustment.

German industrial orders unexpectedly jumped by 8.9% in December, posting their highest month-on-month increase in more than three years, driven by “an exceptionally” high number of aircraft orders, the federal statistics office said on Tuesday.

The lack of orders in manufacturing is increasingly becoming a burden on the German economy, the Ifo Institute said on Monday, and economists warned that Tuesday’s data did not change that.

(Reporting by Maria Martinez in Berlin and Tristan Veyet in Gdansk; Editing by Miranda Murray and Michael Perry)

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