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German factory orders fall amid global political upheaval

German factory orders, an important gauge of demand for goods made in Europe's largest economy, fell more than expected in May. Foreign orders slumped amid global political tensions.

German industrial orders fell more than expected in May, pulled down by lower demand at home and outside the eurozone, data showed on Friday.

Factories in Germany booked 1.7 percent fewer orders over April,

when they rose by 3.4 percent

, the Federal Statistical Office said.

While orders from eurozone countries jumped 5.7 percent, it was not enough to counter a 2.5 percent drop in domestic orders and 5.2 percent fewer orders from countries outside of the 18-nation bloc.

Economists had expected a milder drop in May.

Statisticians said political upheaval between the West and Russia over Ukraine had driven down foreign demand, and that without the spike in bulk orders from the eurozone, total new orders could have fallen 3.7 percent in May.

By sector, factories registered a 3.4 percent dip in orders for semi-finished goods, and 0.7 and 1.2 percent fewer orders for capital and consumer goods, respectively.

cjc/sri (AFP, AP, dpa)

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