German industrial orders halt decline in May

German industrial orders climbed fractionally in May after falling for three consecutive months as a result of the economic fallout from Russia's war in Ukraine, official data showed on Wednesday.

Mechanics work at the assembly line of a VW ID Buzz, the new fully electric-driven microbus of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, at the Volkswagen plant in Hanover, northern Germany on June 16, 2022. (File photo: AFP)

New orders -- which usually provide a foretaste of industrial output -- rose by 0.1 percent in May from the previous month, the federal statistics agency Destatis calculated.

The previous month's reading was revised to show a drop of 1.8 percent.

On an annual basis, incoming orders in May were down 3.1 percent from a year ago, when the coronavirus pandemic weighed more heavily on industry.

A breakdown of the data showed that orders for capital goods rose by 3.3 percent month-on-month in May, while orders for intermediate goods and consumer goods fell by 3.2 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.

Foreign orders rose by 1.3 percent, buoyed by a 3.7-percent increase in orders from outside the eurozone.

Eurozone orders fell by 2.4 percent and domestic German orders declined by 1.5 percent.

Supply chain disruptions aggravated by the war in Ukraine and coronavirus lockdowns in key trading partner China have left manufacturers starved for components and put the brakes on production.

Over three quarters of companies surveyed "complained of bottlenecks" and issues procuring raw materials, Destatis said.

Supply issues, the war in Ukraine and the imminent threat of a cut to Russian gas deliveries meant the outlook for the economy was weak amid high "uncertainty", the economy ministry said in a separate statement.