German industrial orders disappoint in November

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – New orders for German industrial firms fell lastNovember, official data showed on Monday, continuing a run of weak data for Europe’s powerhouse.

Fresh contracts fell 1.3 per cent month-on-month, federal statistics authority Destatis said in seasonally-adjusted figures, down from a 0.2-per cent increase last October and short of analysts’ expectations for slight growth.

Excluding volatile large orders for items like aircraft, the picture was slightly rosier, showing a 1.0 per cent increase in business.

But in a year-on-year comparison, new orders were 6.5 per cent below on November 2018’s level.

“In recent months, industrial orders have stabilised at a low level,” the Economy Ministry in Berlin said in a statement, noting that the total over last October and November 2019 was little changed from the previous two months.

“At the same time, business expectations in industry have picked up somewhat,” meaning “the outlook for industrial activity has improved,” it added.

United States (US)-led trade wars, especially with major German trading partner China, sapped growth and strewed uncertainty in manufacturing firms’ path over much of 2019.

But robust consumer demand at home helped the eurozone heavyweight avoid recession, and prospects of a preliminary Beijing-Washington deal later this month have brightened surveys of business leaders’ mood.