German VDMA Machine Orders Rose in April on Foreign Demand Surge

German plant and machinery orders rose for the first time since December as foreign demand showed signs of recovery, the VDMA machine-makers’ association said.

Orders, adjusted for inflation, climbed 8 percent from a year ago after falling 4 percent in March, VDMA said in an e-mailed statement today. Orders from abroad jumped 10 percent, while domestic orders increased 6 percent. In the three months through April, orders rose 1 percent compared to a year earlier.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi today said he sees signs of stabilization in the economy even as unemployment in the 17-nation euro area rose to a record in April and recession deepened in the first three months of the year. The Bundesbank, which in December predicted growth for the German economy of 0.4 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2014, will publish new forecasts next month.

“This is finally a plus after a rather disappointing first quarter,” VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers said in the statement. “In particular, foreign demand gives hope that customers for machinery are giving up their reluctance to buy.”