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German factory orders down 1.3% in November


January 9, 2020
By The Associated Press

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German factory orders dropped 1.3 per cent 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 per cent in October.

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

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

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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 per cent in the July-September period compared with the previous quarter, when it contracted by 0.2 per cent. Strong domestic spending helped spark the modest growth.

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

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