German industrial orders unexpectedly fall in May

BERLIN (Reuters) – German industrial orders fell unexpectedly in May, a fifth consecutive drop that adds to signs that manufacturing in Europe’s largest economy will not recover in the coming months.

Orders were down by 1.6% on the previous month on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, the federal statistics office said on Thursday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a rise of 0.5%.

Excluding large-scale orders, new orders fell by 2.2% in May compared with the previous month. The three-month comparison showed orders from March to May were 6.2% lower than the previous three months, due in part to a large-scale order.

“The downward trend is still in full swing,” Hauck Aufhaeuser Lampe Privatbank chief economist Alexander Krueger said.

PMI data for manufacturing in June showed a continued downturn in the sector, which accounts for about a fifth of the German economy, while Ifo’s latest business climate index showed manufacturers were sceptical about the months ahead.

The ongoing decline in orders, along with a deterioration in business expectations, points to a subdued industrial economy in the coming months, the German economy ministry said.

“Incoming orders are only likely to stabilise as global trade continues to recover and demand for industrial products gradually picks up,” the ministry said about the data.

The situation in global industry, for example in the United States and China, was also difficult, VP Bank chief economist Thomas Gitzel said, and there is no sign of any significant improvement coming in the short term.

“As a result, German growth will not pick up speed,” he added.

(Reporting by Miranda Murray, Klaus Lauer and Anastasiia Kozlova, Editing by Rachel More and Andrew Heavens)


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