German industry orders suggest slowing economy may be ahead

German industrial orders data underlined growing concerns that Europe's biggest economy is heading towards an economic slowdown, eking out a smaller-than-expected rise and showing a decline in domestic demand.

By: Reuters | Berlin | Published:September 6, 2016 2:05 pm
germany, germany state polls, germany polls, angela merkel, german chancellor angela merkel, germany news, world news File Photo: German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, August 24, 2016. (Source: REUTERS/Stefanie Loos)

German industrial orders data on Tuesday underlined growing concerns that Europe’s biggest economy is heading towards an economic slowdown, eking out a smaller-than-expected rise and showing a decline in domestic demand. Contracts for goods “Made in Germany” were up by 0.2 percent in July, the Economy Ministry said. That was weaker than a Reuters consensus forecast for a rise of 0.5 percent.

Domestic demand fell by 3.0 percent while foreign orders rose by 2.5 percent, with demand from euro zone countries jumping by 5.9 percent. It was the first full month of industrial orders data since Britain’s economically unsettling vote to leave the euro zone.

“Economic and political uncertainty are dampening order activity around the globe,” VP Bank economist Thomas Gitzel said, adding that Britain’s 23 June vote to leave the EU was only one negative factor among several others. “With US presidential candidate Donald Trump, the next uncertainty is around the corner,” Gitzel said, pointing to Trump’s sharp rhetoric against free trade. The United States is Germany’s most important export market.

The data for June was revised up to a drop of 0.3 percent from a previously reported fall of 0.4 percent. In the less volatile two-month-comparison, orders were down by 0.2 percent in June and July.