German factory orders down 1.3% in November

BERLIN (AP) — German factory orders dropped 1.3% in November compared with the previous month, pushed down by a drop in foreign demand and low bulk orders.

The drop in orders, an important indicator for Europe’s biggest economy, followed a modest gain of 0.2% in October.

The Economy Ministry said Wednesday that orders from inside Germany were up 1.6%, but demand from eurozone countries dropped 3.3% and there was a 2.8% fall in orders from other countries.

It said that, excluding bulk orders, the overall figure would have risen 1% and added that orders “have stabilized at a low level in recent months.”

Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING in Frankfurt, took a less optimistic view. He said it looks as though 2019 will be the second consecutive year in which new orders have fallen.

“All in all, there are still no signs at all of a bottoming out for German industry,” he said in a research note. “Instead, the free fall continues.”

The economy narrowly avoided a widely anticipated recession in the third quarter. It grew 0.1% in the July-September period compared with the previous quarter, when it contracted by 0.2%. Strong domestic spending helped spark the modest growth.

Germany’s central bank has said that output likely remained flat in the fourth quarter.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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