German official industrial orders leap in August

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Industrial orders in Germany leapt higher in August as a result of big-ticket purchases of transportation goods, the economy ministry said on Wednesday, a sign that Europe's biggest economy should keep expanding this year.

Overall orders climbed by 3.4 percent, the provisional, seasonally corrected data showed, making up for a revised decline of 1.6 percent in July.

The July decrease had initially been reported as 2.2 percent.

The result for August "was underpinned by a higher than usual number of large orders in the mobility sector" that includes trains, ships and aircraft, a ministry statement said.

Foreign demand again came through for the world's second-biggest exporter after China, with an increase of 6.6 percent, while domestic orders gained a much more modest 0.5 percent, the figures showed.

A breakdown by sector revealed the biggest gain in orders for capital goods used to make finished products, which were 6.7 percent higher, the ministry said.

Orders for consumer goods fell however by 3.9 percent.

A two-month calculation based on a 12-month comparison was even more striking because Germany was still in the midst of a historic recession last year.

The figure for July and August 2010 was thus 19.4 percent higher than in the same period one year earlier.

"Strong fluctuations in large contracts always have an effect on industrial order figures," the ministry noted.

"But even taking that into account, demand for industrial goods remains oriented higher," it added.

Domestic demand had calmed significantly since May however, the ministry said.

© 2010 AFP

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