German industrial orders down 2.2 pct in May

New orders in Germany’s important industrial sector declined by 2.2 percent in May compared to the previous month, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) has announced.

At minus 8.6 percent, the decline in new orders was even stronger compared to the same period last year, according to the German Federal Statistical Office.

While domestic orders remained comparably strong with an increase of 0.7 percent in May, new orders for the German manufacturing sector from abroad declined by 4.3 percent. The order intake of Germany’s industry from countries outside of the eurozone fell particularly strong.

The order intake of German industry had “noticeably” decreased, the German Ministry of Economics (BMWi) commented on the Destatis figures published on Friday.

In particular, Germany’s “important” automotive industry had recorded declines in new orders in May, which was why “a continued weak industrial economy is to be expected”, the BMWi added.

Seasonally and calendar adjusted turnover of the German manufacturing sector had decreased by 1.2 percent in May compared to the previous month, according to Destatis.

“Today’s figures once again underline our expectation that the German economy contracted in the second quarter and hopes for a noticeable improvement in the third quarter are fading,” Ralph Solveen, economist at the German Commerzbank, told the German press agency (dpa).

On Tuesday, the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) lowered its growth forecast for Germany’s mechanical engineering sector from an increase of 1 percent to a decrease of 2 percent in 2019.

According to the VDMA, the poorer prospects for the German mechanical engineering sector were due to trade disputes, which “escalated again contrary to many assumptions” as well as the renewed postponement of Brexit, the threat of U.S. tariffs on goods from the European Union and the deterioration of the “budgetary situation” of the Italian state budget.