Fears of an economic slowdown after German factory orders drop

GERMAN factory orders unexpectedly plummeted in July, raising fears of a slowdown in Europe’s largest economy, which rebounded sharply in the second quarter.

Official data published yesterday showed that orders fell 2.2 per cent on June, the sharpest monthly drop since February 2009. But they are still up 18 per cent on a year earlier.

Economists brushed off yesterday’s surprise data. ING’s Carsten Brzeski said: “The drop is no reason to worry. Today’s numbers just illustrate the inevitable return to a normal growth path, after the exceptional second quarter. Deriving any double-dip ideas from today’s numbers would be exaggerated and very premature.”

However, the figures emphasise the importance of global growth to the Germany economy.