German Industrial Orders Bounce Back in August


New orders for German industrial firms booked a strong rebound in August from a slip in July, official data showed Friday, brightening the outlook for the second half of the year.

Companies reported a 2.0-percent month-on-month increase in new business, adjusting for price, seasonal and calendar effects, federal statistics authority Destatis said in a statement.

That was well above the 0.6-percent boost forecast by analysts.

Orders data are closely followed by economists as they give a forward look at the performance of the industrial sector, the beating heart of Europe's largest economy.

This year, the figures have varied sharply from month to month as Washington's calls to rejig the world trading order under President Donald Trump have surged or appeared temporarily tamed.

As well as his direct confrontation with the EU, Trump's tit-for-tat trade battle with China could also have knock-on effects for Germany -- although he has buried the hatchet with neighbours Canada and Mexico for now with a renegotiated trade accord.

Looking in more detail at the German figures, new business from domestic customers grew 2.9 percent month-on-month, but foreign demand swelled twice as fast, at 5.8 percent.

Orders from Berlin's neighbours in the 19-nation euro single currency area fell 2.2 percent, but business with the rest of the world added 11.1 percent.

In different industrial sectors, producer goods firms' contracts were almost flat, while capital goods makers added 3.4 percent and consumer goods companies 2.1 percent.

Overall, "the German economy is still defying trade tensions," ING Diba bank economist Carsten Brzeski commented, combining with other data to suggest "fears of a slowdown are overdone".

"To the contrary, positive surprises should not be ruled out," he added.