July 5, 2018 / 8:02 AM / 9 months ago

Weaker foreign demand pushes down German engineering orders in May - VDMA

    BERLIN, July 5 (Reuters) - German engineering orders edged
down by 1 percent in May from the previous year due to weaker
demand from abroad, the VDMA industry association said on
Thursday, putting the drop down to unusually strong increases in
the previous months. 
    Contracts for 'Made in Germany' goods from foreign clients
fell by 2 percent in real terms while domestic demand rose by 1
percent, VDMA said.
    VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers warned against reading
too much into the monthly fall in May. "After half a year of
almost double-digit growth rates, the engineering sector is
obviously taking a breather," Wiechers said.
    In the less volatile March-May comparison, orders rose by 2
percent on the year in real terms, with domestic demand jumping
by 7 percent and foreign orders down 1 percent.
    Production in the engineering sector rose by 4.2 percent on
the year in real terms in the first four months of the year,
VDMA said.
    "The upswing in the engineering sector is running smoothly,"
Wiechers said, adding that capacity utilization had surpassed 90
percent in April.
    "There are noticeable bottlenecks in supplies and above all
in available labour. Companies could produce more if they had
enough trained staff," Wiechers said.
        MAY 2017                CHANGE 
         overall                -1 pct
     of which German            +1 pct
     foreign orders             -2 pct
         overall                 +2 pct
     of which German             +7 pct
     foreign orders              -1 pct
 (Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Joseph Nasr)
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