German industrial orders fall back in October

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany — New orders for German industry fell back in October after a September boost, official data showed on Thursday, highlighting that manufacturing in Europe's largest economy remains plagued by trade wars and a global growth slowdown.

New contracts fell 0.4 percent month-on-month in October, federal statistics authority Destatis said in seasonally-adjusted figures.

When counting out volatile large orders for items like aircraft, the fall was less steep, at 1.4 percent month-on-month.

But there was some good news as the statisticians revised September's growth in orders up, to 1.5 percent.

In a statement, the economy ministry in Berlin underlined net growth in new business of 1.0 percent in September-October over July-August.

"New order intake has stabilized in the last few months," the ministry said, although "dynamics in industry remain weakened."

"The outlook for the final quarter of the year remains cautious."

Looking in more detail at the figures, new domestic business fell 3.2 percent, while foreign demand added 1.5 percent.

There was a surge in orders from Germany's eurozone neighborhood, at 11.1 percent, while contracts from the rest of the world fell 4.1 percent.

And in different areas of industry, makers of both producer and consumer goods saw slight growth, with capital goods firms falling back more than one percent.

Thursday's data provided "no signs of a turnaround," ING bank economist Carsten Brzeski commented, even though "latest confidence indicators point to a bottoming-out" in industry's woes.

"The trade conflict, global uncertainty and sector-specific shocks... are clearly weighing on German industry," he added, name-checking in particular the mighty car sector. — AFP