German Industrial Orders Fall In May

BERLIN (AP) -- Industrial orders in Germany slipped by 0.5 percent during May, though the overall trend remains strong with big gains in earlier months, government data showed Wednesday.

The slide followed gains of 5.1 percent in March and 3.2 percent in April -- the latter figure revised up from an initial estimate of 2.8 percent.

The Economy Ministry said there was a below-average number of large orders in May.

Orders from abroad were down 0.3 percent in May, while domestic orders slid by 0.6 percent.

However, the trend in industrial orders is still strong despite the dip, the ministry said. Total orders in April and May were up 5.6 percent compared with the previous two months.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has settled into a modest recovery over the past year as a healthier global environment helps its exports.

The May industrial orders numbers "should be seen as a pure technical correction which had to occur at some point in time after an impressive rally," said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING in Brussels.

"With industrial confidence still improving, order books still filling and increasing hiring intentions, any slowdown in the coming months should be mild," he added.

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