German factory orders dropped steeply in October, pushed down by much lower demand from countries outside the euro area, according to official statistics released Monday. The Economy Ministry said orders were down 6.9 per cent compared with the previous month, the second big drop in three months.
Orders fell 8.8 per cent in August and gained 1.8 per cent in September. Factory orders are an important indicator for the German economy, Europe's biggest. The latest figures come as business confidence is weighed down by persistent supply-chain bottlenecks and a resurgence of coronavirus infections.
Demand for investment goods such as factory machinery was down 10.7 per cent in October, the Economy Ministry said. The overall performance was dragged lower by an 18.1 per cent drop in orders from countries outside the 19-nation eurozone and a 3.2 per cent fall in orders from Germany's eurozone partners.
Domestic demand was up 3.4 per cent. The ministry said overall orders were 1 per cent lower than a year earlier. It cautioned, however, that the index is volatile at the moment and recent developments "should not be overinterpreted." It said that, if bulk orders were excluded, orders would have been down only 1.8 per cent on the month.