German industrial production figures stunned market participants after declining to levels last seen in August of 2014. The German Federal Statistics Office announced a -1.20% contraction during the month of December, falling deeper than November’s revised -0.10% while also missing expectations of a 0.40% expansion. This marks the 4th contraction in the last 6 months and underlines the tenuous nature of global trade. Consumer products declined by -1.40%, capital goods fell by -2.60% and energy production tumbled -3.00%. The decline in German factory orders over the same time period comes during the ongoing weakness in one of nation’s largest trading partners, China. While domestic demand is expected to rise even further and offset some external woes after documenting record low unemployment that will boost consumer spending in spite of low fuel prices.