German industrial orders contract in August

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – Industrial orders in Europe’s largest economy Germany fell back in August, official data showed yesterday, adding to a picture of declining activity at vital manufacturing firms.

New contracts fell 0.6 per cent compared with July, federal statistics authority Destatis said, disappointing analysts’ predictions of a 0.6-per cent increase.

In a year-on-year comparison, orders were down 6.7 per cent on August 2018’s level.

“The weakness in demand continues in industry. Activity will remain muted for now,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement.

Looking in more detail at the data, orders fell only 0.3 per cent month-on-month when counting out large contracts for items like aircraft – a volatile element that can distort the overall figure.

In a geographical breakdown, domestic orders fell 2.6 per cent compared with July, while foreign demand grew 0.9 per cent.

File photo shows a man working on turbines at a factory in Oberhausen, western Germany. PHOTO: AP