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German Factory Orders Slump With Virus Shutdown Freezing Economy

  • Demand dropped 15.6% in March, exceeding median estimate
  • Economy Ministry warns of big declines in production
Volkswagen AG Restarts Assembly Lines At World's Largest Car Factory
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

German factories saw demand collapse in March, when measures to contain the coronavirus brought the economy to a sudden halt.

Orders fell 15.6% from the previous month, the most since data collection started in 1991 and more than economists predicted. While all sectors were affected, investment goods plunged heavily. The Economy Ministry warned of big declines in production due to the virus.