News Column

German Factory Orders Rebound in December

Feb 6, 2013

Andrew McCathie, dpa

German industrial orders rebounded in December, buoyed by a surge in demand from the eurozone, data released Wednesday showed.

The Ministry for Economics said monthly factory order books climbed by 0.8 per cent in December after contracting by 1.8 per cent in November. The increase in December was slightly more than the 0.7 per cent forecast by analysts.

The release of the factory data followed the publication of a series of key economic sentiment surveys that have pointed Europe's biggest economy gaining momentum as it entered the new year.

The increase in orders was "a favorable sign for the development of industrial production in the current year," the ministry said.

"Together with the improvement in the business climate in recent months, leading indicators are signalling an anticipated end of the weakness in industrial activity," it said.

Leading the rise in monthly order books was a sharp 7-per-cent gain in demand from the 17-member eurozone.

This is likely to add to hopes that the currency bloc is now on a path to recovery after the crisis drove the region into recession last year.

Quarter on quarter, German orders gained 1 per cent in the final three months of 2012.

"These new order data add clear evidence that the German industry has reached a turning point," said ING Bank economist Carsten Brzeski.

Underling the fragile state of the German economy in 2012, new orders in December were down by 1.8 per cent compared with the same month in 2011.

The ministry said total foreign orders rose by 2.4 per cent after demand from nations outside the eurozone slipped by 0.4 per cent.

German domestic orders, however, slumped by 1.2 per cent in December, cancelling out the 1.5-per-cent gain in November.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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