Business World

Monday 19 March 2018

European industrial orders fall in July

European industrial orders declined more than economists forecast in July, led by a drop in capital goods such as factory machinery.

Orders in the 16-nation euro area decreased 2.4pc from June, when they rose 2.4pc, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today.

Economists had forecast orders to drop 1.4pc in July, the median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. From a year earlier, July industrial orders jumped 11pc after rising 23pc in June.

European manufacturers may curb output and hiring as a cooling global economy threatens to undermine exports just as governments step up spending cuts.

The European Commission on September 13 forecast the region’s recovery would show a more “moderate” pace in the second half. In the US, the world’s largest economy, industrial output weakened in August.

“The global economic dynamic is already past its peak,” said Andreas Scheuerle, an economist at Dekabank in Frankfurt.

“We’ll see some cooling in the second half along with weaker output growth even if we’re still far from a double dip.”

Euro-area industrial orders for capital goods dropped 5.1pc from the previous month, today’s report showed.

Orders for intermediate goods slipped 0.1pc, while durable consumer goods fell 3.2pc. Orders excluding heavy transport equipment such as ships and trains declined 0.6pc in the month.

‘Limited’ growth

The European economy may expand 0.5pc in the third quarter after growing 1pc in the previous three months, the Brussels-based commission said last week.

Nobel Prize- winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on September 20 that he sees only “very limited growth” in Europe.

The euro’s 7.1pc depreciation against the dollar this year may help shield exporters from a global slowdown by making their goods more competitive.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, said on September 9 that sales increased 13pc in August.

So far, the economy is showing mixed signs of a slowdown. European confidence in the economic outlook improved to the highest in more than two years in August.

Growth in Europe’s services and manufacturing industries weakened last month and unemployment held at the highest in almost 12 years in July.

“We have now solid ground under our feet,” but “there’s no reason to shout for victory,” EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said on September 13 in Brussels. “Instead we must stay alert and vigilant in the face of the remaining uncertainties.”


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