(Adds detail, economist comment, context)
By Alexandra Hudson
BERLIN Aug 7 German industrial output rose just
0.3 percent on the month in June, missing a forecast rise of 1.3
percent, as fears over the crisis in Ukraine weighed, adding to
signals that Europe's largest economy may have stalled in the
June's faint gain in output showed some recovery from May's
monthly fall of 1.8 percent, as construction activity picked up,
but analysts said it was "too little, too late".
"The second quarter was weaker, as expected, after
industrial output was exceptionally strong in the first quarter
due to the mild winter... geopolitical events may have also
weighed," the ministry said.
"Ordering activity and sentiment indicators signal moderate
development in output for now. The positive basic trend will
continue," it added.
The disappointing output figure comes a day after data
showed industrial orders fell in June at their steepest rate
since September 2011 on weaker euro zone demand and poor bulk
orders, again affected in part by uncertainty over Ukraine which
has hit at a time when the euro zone is still vulnerable.
"This is less than expected... and it is too little to turn
the second quarter into a growth quarter," said Christian
Schulz, analyst at Berenberg Bank.
"The Putin-factor plays a role because of the Ukraine
crisis. Some export firms have become more cautious and are
ordering less, so less is being produced," he added.
The Economy Ministry said industrial production was 1.5
percent lower in the second quarter than in the first.
The German economy grew at its strongest rate in three years
in the first quarter but that was largely due to mild weather
and it is generally seen slowing or even stagnating in the
second quarter before accelerating again in the third.
The strength of that third quarter acceleration is now in
question however, particularly since the European Union and
United States introduced a new round of sanctions on Russia.
Preliminary second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP)
figures are due out next Thursday.
"After today's data there is a strong risk that GDP will
have fallen slightly," Schulz said.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Toby Chopra)