German industrial orders rise in May

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German industrial orders rose further in May, by 1.8 percent, the economy ministry said on Wednesday.

This followed 2.9-percent growth in April, according to revised figures.

The May figure far exceeded expectations by analysts, polled by Dow Jones Newswires, who had expected a 0.5 percent drop in orders.

Foreign orders were down 5.8 percent in May, but orders from within Germany increased by 11.3 percent.

A breakdown by sector indicated the strongest increase came from investment goods used in the production of final products -- a 2.4-percent hike that signalled sustained demand for machine tools and other German specialty goods.

Consumer good orders were down by 1.5 percent after a 4.3-percent increase in April.

A large number of bulk orders was recorded in May, as was also the case in April, the ministry said.

Provisional figures issued for April were revised up from 2.8 to 2.9 percent.

The German economy is officially expected to expand by 2.6 percent this year following growth of 3.6 percent in 2010, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated the forecast could be raised above 3.0 percent in the coming months.

© 2011 AFP

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