German VDMA March Machine Orders Fall as Domestic Demand Slumps

German plant and machinery orders fell in March as economic uncertainty depressed demand in Europe’s largest economy, the VDMA machine-makers’ association said.

Orders, adjusted for inflation, fell 4 percent from a year earlier after remaining unchanged in February, VDMA said today in an e-mailed statement. Domestic orders slumped 15 percent while orders from abroad rose 1 percent.

Signs are increasing that a recession in the euro area is spreading to Germany, with manufacturing output contracting at a faster pace last month. The Bundesbank still predicts the German economy will expand 0.4 percent this year.

“Overall the numbers confirm the picture of widely distributed uncertainty about the development of the economy,” VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers said in the statement, adding that foreign orders had only recorded growth in March due to bulk orders from outside the euro area. “An effective stimulus for the global economy is simply lacking.”

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