German machinery orders plummet, adding to recession fears

BERLIN (AP) — An industry association said orders for German machinery, an important export, plummeted in August, adding to signs of a recession in Europe’s biggest economy.

The VDMA group said yesterday that orders were down 17 per cent compared with a year earlier, with demand from abroad dropping 19 per cent and orders from inside Germany falling 12 per cent. Orders from countries outside the eurozone fell a particularly sharp 21 per cent.

VDMA’s Olaf Wortmann said the figures suggest single-digit drops in previous months were “only a pause for breath”, given pessimism about exports in recent surveys.

An employee of MAN Turbo company works on compressors and turbines at the factory in Oberhausen, western Germany. PHOTO: AP