Rise in German industrial orders offers hope for struggling sector

Credit: REUTERS/RALPH ORLOWSKI

German industrial orders rose more than expected in September, data showed on Wednesday, offering some hope for manufacturers in Europe's biggest economy as they head into the fourth quarter after a tough spell.

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BERLIN, Nov 6 (Reuters) - German industrial orders rose more than expected in September, data showed on Wednesday, offering some hope for manufacturers in Europe's biggest economy as they head into the fourth quarter after a tough spell.

Germany's export-reliant manufacturers have been suffering from a slowing world economy and business uncertainty linked to a trade dispute between the United States and China plus Britain's planned, if delayed, exit from the European Union.

Contracts for 'Made in Germany' goods rose 1.3% from the previous month, helped by increases in both domestic and foreign demand, the Federal Statistics said. That compared with a Reuters consensus forecast for a rise of 0.1%.

The economy ministry said the numbers were a good starting point for the final quarter of the year and pointed out that business expectations had also brightened. "Both of these could point to a bottoming out of orders," said the ministry.

The economy shrank by 0.1% in the second quarter and recent data have pointed to continued weakness in manufacturing in the third quarter, which could put Germany in recession. Most economists define a recession as two straight quarters of contraction.

Domestic orders rose by 1.6% while contracts from abroad were up 1.1%, although those from the euro zone were 1.8% lower.

"At last a positive surprise from German industry... This seems to be a really good number, especially as more orders came from home and abroad," said Jens-Oliver Niklasch, senior economist at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.

"It looks at the moment like a bottoming out. The downturn is not continuing, although new impulses for growth are thin on the ground," he said.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Michelle Martin)

((Madeline.Chambers@thomsonreuters.com; +493028885230; Reuters Messaging: ann.chambers.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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