• Germany's news in English

Industrial orders remain stable for April

AFP · 8 Jun 2009, 15:56

Published: 08 Jun 2009 15:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Orders had risen strongly in March, their first rise in six months, and the ministry said the latest reading, a change of exactly zero percent, showed a "noticeable improvement in the medium-term perspective" for German industries.

The March figure was revised slightly higher to a gain of 3.7 percent from a previous estimate of 3.3 percent.

Analysts were divided on what the steady result meant, but most saw the glass half-full as Germany struggles to pull out of its worst post-war slump.

"The unchanged orders reading can definitely be rated as positive news for the industrial sector," said UniCredit economist Alexander Koch.

The ministry also noted that orders calculated over two months to smooth out exceptional influences had risen for the first time since December 2007.

They gained 2.0 percent in March and April compared with January and February.

A 12-month comparison was less rosy however, with the March-April figure a full 32 percent lower than in the same period one year earlier.

"Given the strong previous drops in demand, industrial production will still face stiff tests in the near term," the ministry warned.

The country's export-driven economy has been slammed by the global economic downturn, and the government has forecast a 6.0 percent contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

Commerzbank economist Ralph Solveen looked askance at the industrial orders data on Monday, saying: "The key driver of these rather disappointing numbers was a marked decline in capital goods orders."

Capital goods are used to produce finished products, such as consumer goods.

"The stagnation of orders argues against a broadbased and swift recovery of industrial production," which we expect to have fallen by 1.5 percent in April," Solveen added.

Story continues below…

German industrial output figures are due on Tuesday.

"This would suggest that GDP for the second quarter will again turn out negative, though much less so than in the first three months of the year," when it collapsed by a bigger-than-expected 3.8 percent.

Postbank analyst Thilo Heidrich felt however that "the figure of the day is another sign of German industrial stabilisation."

Koch noted further that because "companies have cut inventories drastically recently, even a modest pick-up in global demand should be enough to bring the German industrial dynamic into positive territory in the coming months."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd