German factory orders continue to decline

The bad economic news keeps coming in Germany, where another set of dismal figures have revealed a stark decline in the manufacturing industry. It underlines why the likes of Germany need a deal and the government should have been far tougher in the negotiations instead of getting boxed in.

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Figures out today from Germany’s Economic Ministry reveal that factory orders fell by 4.2% in February 2019 compared to January. That’s the sharpest drop in more than two years. The expectation was a 0.3% increase.

These new numbers amount to a terrible 8.4% year-on-year decline in manufacturing orders.

In a statement, the Economic Ministry has said that “Domestic orders decreased by 1.6% and foreign orders fell by 6.0% in February 2019 on the previous month.

“New orders from the Euro area were down 2.9%, new orders from other countries decreased 7.9% compared to January 2019.”

In comments picked up by The Guardian, Carsten Brzeski of ING has said: “Devastating new orders data just undermined any hopes for an industrial rebound.

“While it looked as if the trend of order book deflation in the German industry had come to a halt at the end of last year, it now looks as if the halt was simply a mere pause before the next landslide.

“Remember that new orders dropped by more than 1% month-on-month on average every single month in the first half of 2018 and then increased by a monthly average of 0.2% between August 2018 and January 2019.

“Today’s sharp drop in new orders clearly undermines latest tentative signs of a rebound in global activity in the first quarter of 2019. Maybe February was simply too early to feel the rebound. This is the positive reading. The negative reading is that the German industry should prepare for more bad news.”