Factory orders in Germany unexpectedly fell sharply in May compared to a month earlier, by 2.2 percent. This is according to figures from the German Federal Statistical Office.

Economists generally expected that order intake would decrease by 0.2 percent. In April there was a slight revised increase of 0.4 percent. German factory orders fell by 8.6 percent on an annual basis. A decrease of 6.2 percent was generally expected here.

Domestic order intake increased by 0.7 percent, but foreign orders plummeted by 4.3 percent, mainly due to much fewer orders from countries outside the euro zone. Orders fell in all product groups, in particular for capital goods such as machines. The figures underline the headwind that German industry is experiencing due to global trade tensions and the weakening economy.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski speaks of “painful” figures about the German factory orders. After two positive months, it was hoped that the bottom had been reached, but now the economy is declining again, the economist says. Combined with the disappointing figures about Tuesday’s German store sales, it is a week to quickly forget about the German economy, says Brzeski.

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