Why You Shouldn’t Get Too Excited About the 1.8% Increase in German Factory Orders
German factory orders increased rather sharply in May, 1.8% in volumes and on a seasonally adjusted basis. The impetus to industrial orders growth on the month was primarily German factories buying capital goods, +2.4%.
Factory orders do lead economic activity, so German domestic demand is likely still plugging away. But that’s as good as it gets – the report also reveals further evidence of a global economic slowdown.
While domestic orders surged 11.3% in May, orders from abroad (EMU countries plus extra-EMU countries) fell 5.8%. The three-month moving average of the index for German factory orders from abroad is now falling at the margin.
Of the new factory orders coming from outside Germany’s borders, extra Euro-area orders fell a sharp -6.1% over the month (demand from the UK, the US, and presumably Asia). Factory orders from other Euro-area countries fell 5.4% in May.
The three month moving averages are stable to down for orders stemming from all sources except for within Germany. The implication is that Germany, which drove 50% of GDP growth in Q1 but holds just a 30% share, will further drive Euro-area economic activity into Q2 via robust investment spending. However, this report is consistent with a crystal clear slowdown in global demand.
This post originally appeared at News N Economics and is reproduced here with permission.