German factory orders down sharply | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 07.03.2017
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German factory orders down sharply

Industrial orders in Europe's powerhouse have slumped, official figures from Germany's statistics office have shown. Are the first pixels appearing in a largely clear picture of economic health in the country?

German factory orders plunged by 7.4 percent in the first month of the year,the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Tuesday.

The steep drop came on the back of a 5.2-percent surge in December, with the figure adjusted for price and seasonal effects.

Industrial orders from the 19-member eurozone contracted faster then those from nations outside the single currency area.

January's drop was the largest since 2009. "Today's disappointing data is a good reminder that German industry is having more problems returning to full speed than buoyant sentiment indicators have been suggesting," ING Diba Chief Economist Carsten Brzeski said in a statement.

Uncertainties wherever you look

The biggest fall came from capital goods producers, Destatis noted, while consumer goods makers were a lot less affected with their orders down just 2 percent in January.

Heightened uncertainty seemed to have taken its toll as the new year unfolded, following the UK's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump capturing the White House on a protectionist platform.

The German government for its part refused to overrate the slump in industrial orders.

"The strong increase in orders in the final quarter of 2016 makes a weak start to the new year manageable," the Economics Ministry said in Berlin.

hg/mm (AFP, Destatis)


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