German machinery orders plummet, adding to recession fears

Business

FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2009 file photo an employee of MAN Turbo company works on compressors and turbines at the factory in Oberhausen, western Germany. A German machine engeneering association says that orders for German machinery, an important export, plummeted in August adding to signs of a recession in Europe’s biggest economy. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

BERLIN (AP) — An industry association says orders for German machinery, an important export, plummeted in August, adding to signs of a recession in Europe’s biggest economy.

The VDMA group said Friday that orders were down 17% compared with a year earlier, with demand from abroad dropping 19% and orders from inside Germany falling 12%. Orders from countries outside the eurozone fell a particularly sharp 21%.

VDMA’s Olaf Wortmann said the figures suggest single-digit drops in previous months were “only a pause for breath,” given pessimism about exports in recent surveys. The group said that, for the June-August period, orders were 8% lower than a year earlier.

Germany’s economy contracted slightly in the second quarter and is widely believed to have shrunk further in the third, putting it in a technical recession.

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