Wednesday 6 November 2019 10:10 am

Hope for German economy as factory orders beat predictions

German industrial orders picked up by more than expected in September, official data has shown, providing a glimmer of home for the country’s weak economy.

Read more: Eurozone ‘remains close to stagnation’ amid manufacturing slump

Europe’s biggest economy has had a torrid 2019, thanks in large part to a slump in global demand hurting its export-focused manufacturing sector.

Germany’s economy ministry said it hoped today’s figures “could point to a bottoming out of orders”. It also highlighted how business expectations had brightened.

Orders for German industrial goods rose 1.3 per cent in September month on month, the Federal Statistics body said. The rise was a marked improvement on the 0.4 per cent fall suffered in August and well above the consensus prediction of a mere 0.1 per cent rise.

Industrial orders were down 5.4 per cent year on year, indicating the extent of Germany’s rough patch. Nonetheless, this was above expectations of a 6.2 per cent fall.

Emily Nicol of Daiwa Capital Markets said the data “offered a rare upwards surprise in September”. Yet she said it was “still pointing to a downward trend over the third quarter as a whole”.

A resolution to the long-running US-China tariff war would likely help the German economy by injecting some confidence into global trade.

It appears that “phase one” of a deal is “likely in the next few weeks,” said Bernd Weidensteiner, an economist at Germany’s Commerzbank.

Yet he said China is unlikely to want to go further than some agreements on buying US agricultural products and increasing access to its financial sector.

Read more: German central bank warns economy may have shrunk in third quarter

“Still,” Weidensteiner said, “that would be better than the current on again-off again conflict which is weighing of business confidence and on global trade.”

(Image credit: Getty)