In May, orders placed with German companies fell by 3.7%, weighed down by a sharp decline abroad, according to figures released Tuesday.
In the meantime, the industry has been disrupted for months by a shortage of components, especially microchips, along the supply chain.
The indicator is down for the first time since the beginning of the year, but orders remain above their level before the Covid-19 crisis, according to the Destatis statistical institute.
Factset polled analysts who expected growth of 0.8% over one month, yet this statistic defies that prediction.
As an element of explanation, Destatis corrected its estimate for April to + 1.2% after initially reporting a decline of 0.2% in total orders.
With 54.3 percent jump over one year, the jump reflects the first wave of the pandemic in May of 2020, when much of the first European economy was at a standstill.
International orders in decline
May was a poor month for the international sector, with euro zone orders falling by 2.3% and those from the rest of the world by 9.3%.
The new orders for intermediate goods and capital goods decreased by 3.6% and 4.6%, respectively, while consumer goods rose by 3.9%.
Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING, says that the underperformance of May is disappointing but not alarming.
“Order books are overflowing, and reducing backlogs is a greater concern than acquiring new orders,” he says.
The morale of German bosses measured by the IFO reached a new zenith in June, and after a plunge in the eurozone economy of 4.7% in 2020, Berlin anticipates a GDP growth of 3.5% in 2019.