Well just to round off the week late Friday afternoon, another ominous piece of data from the German front:
Concern over the fragile health of the German economy, the largest in the eurozone, mounted on Friday after industrial output fell faster than expected, casting further doubt on official growth forecasts.Industrial production fell by 1.1 per cent month-on-month in March after a meagre rise of 0.2 per cent in February, the economics ministry said. The steep fall followed a sharp drop in orders for March. Economists said the decline confirmed their view that GDP growth in the first quarter was just 0.2 per cent. The economy ground to a halt in the final quarter of 2002 and is expected to weaken in the second quarter of this year. The German government, which has forecast gross domestic product growth for this year of 0.75 per cent, will release first quarter GDP figures next week. Most economists believe the GDP forecast will prove too optimistic.
Source: Financial Times