German industrial orders unexpectedly fell again in April following a sharp drop the month before, official data showed Tuesday, adding to concerns about the health of Europe’s biggest economy.
New orders, closely watched as a foretaste of future industrial activity, declined 0.4 per cent in April compared with the previous month, federal statistics agency Destatis said.
The drop surprised analysts surveyed by FactSet who had predicted a four-per cent increase. It comes after orders plummeted 10.9-per cent in March, the biggest fall since April 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic forced widespread lockdowns.
The disappointing April figure was mainly down to a drop in large orders, the economy ministry said in a statement. Excluding them, new orders actually increased by 1.4 per cent. But the ministry acknowledged that German industry lacked momentum at the beginning of the second quarter. “Germany’s export-oriented economy is suffering particularly from the still weak global economy and the decline in orders from the euro area,” it said.
The slowdown was especially noticeable in machinery and equipment manufacturing were orders were down six per cent month-on-month, while “miscellaneous vehicle construction” including ships, trains and aircraft saw a 34-per cent plunge.