March 19, 2018 / 1:33 PM / 9 months ago

German manufacturers have six month order backlog -stats office

BERLIN, March 19 (Reuters) - German manufacturers are sitting on orders that will take them nearly six months to complete, providing some cushioning as Berlin tries to work through a trade stand-off with Washington that has finance minister Olaf Scholz “seriously worried”.

The Federal Statistics Office said on Monday that manufacturers’ so-called ‘order range’ was 5.5 months in January, meaning they could carry on producing for nearly half a year even if they received no new orders.

January’s reading marked an increase from 5.4 in December and was the highest since the Office began compiling the measure in 2015.

“The high (order) range is reassuring news in stormy times, which will be marked in the coming weeks by protectionist threats and a tendency towards declining sentiment indicators,” DekaBank economist Andreas Scheuerle said.

Scholz told daily Bild he was “seriously worried” about the trade stand-off with Washington.

On Sunday, he said Germany would continue talks to dissuade the United States from imposing planned punitive steel and aluminium tariffs.

Reporting by Rene Wager; writing by Paul Carrel; editing by Jason Neely

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