Slowdown in Slowdown - but German Orders Still Decrease as Unemployment Rises

08 June 2001

Europe’s largest economy has been hit by a further fall in industrial orders and a surprise increase in unemployment, according to a statement issued yesterday by Germany’s Finance Ministry.

April saw a decrease in industry orders for the fourth month in succession, albeit slowing from a 3.3% fall in March to just 1.1%. At the same time, export activity – the powerhouse of Germany’s economy – was down 0.8% on the previous month’s 5.3%. Domestic orders fell 1.5%.

Unemployment continued to grow, reported the Labour Office, with May reflecting the fifth consecutive monthly rise. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the numbers out of work increased by 18,000 to 3. 82 million – more than three times the expected rise of about 5,000.

Commented Deutsche Bank: “With the US economy still on the brink of recession, economic sentiment, production expectations and order figures will have deteriorated further, pointing to a continued weakness of the German labour market in the months ahead. We do not expect a visible fall in unemployment before autumn at the earliest.”

News source: Financial Times