German Machine Orders Fall for First Time in Three Months

German plant and machinery orders fell for the first time in three months in November amid weak domestic and foreign demand, the VDMA machine-makers’ association said.

Orders, adjusted for inflation, dropped 3 percent from a year earlier after advancing an annual 7 percent in October, Frankfurt-based VDMA said in an e-mailed statement today. Domestic orders declined 2 percent and orders from outside Germany decreased 4 percent. Orders rose 5 percent in the three months through November, it said.

The German economy may have contracted markedly in the fourth quarter after the euro area, the country’s biggest export market, fell into recession. Still, business confidence in Germany climbed more than economists expected in December and economic confidence in the euro area jumped to the highest level since July.

“All in all, the November numbers aren’t surprising,” said Ralph Wiechers, VDMA’s chief economist. “The unusually high order volume from outside the euro area in September and October couldn’t be maintained, while business with domestic clients stabilized further from October.”

German production of plant and machinery will increase 2 percent this year and next, VDMA forecast on Dec. 13.

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