German factory orders stagnant in May, short of forecast

BERLIN – German factory orders were stagnant in May as a fall in demand at home and overseas balanced out increasing demand from other eurozone countries.

Economists had forecast a 1 per cent rise compared with the previous month. But the Economy Ministry said Wednesday that orders were flat overall following a 1.9 per cent decline in April.

Orders from inside Germany dropped 1.9 per cent and those from outside the eurozone slipped 0.3 per cent. Demand from other countries in the 19-nation eurozone was up 4 per cent.

ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski said that new orders in Europe’s biggest economy have been slipping an average 0.1 per cent since the beginning of last year. He said that even allowing for volatility in monthly readings “the trend is obvious: the German industry is treading water.”