Weak export demand hits German factories

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BERLIN: Weakness in China and Germany’s other export partners have prompted the biggest drop in industrial orders in Europe’s top economy in more than a decade, official data showed on Monday.

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German industrial orders, a key measure of demand for goods, dropped sharply in April as foreign demand slumped, according to data released by statistics office Destatis.

The drop of 2 percent in comparison with March was far worse than the 0.7-percent decline forecasted by analysts polled by financial services provider Factset.

German industrial orders had not shown such a deep slump since July 2005, Destatis said.
“The weakness seen in the beginning of the second trimester stems mainly from strongly fluctuating orders from manufacturers of investment goods outside the eurozone,” said the economy ministry in a separate statement.

Such orders fell 13.3 percent in April compared to March, when they had risen 11.0 percent, the ministry said.

Overall, domestic orders rose 1.3 percent in April while foreign demand fell 4.3 percent, dragged down by poor uptake from outside the eurozone. Within the bloc, orders were up 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Destatis also revised its March industrial orders figures upwards to 2.6 percent from the previously announced 1.9 percent.

Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Bank, said the decline illustrated “weakness in China and other global export partners.”

AFP

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