German manufacturing orders tumbled in May amid growing supply disruptions


By Xavier Fontdegloria

German manufacturing orders fell in May for the first time in four months, led by weaker foreign demand and amid a widespread supply shortage.

Manufacturing orders fell 3.7% on the month in May in adjusted terms, after a revised increase of 1.2% in April, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office Destatis released Tuesday.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected orders to rise 1% from May.

Domestic orders were up 0.9% on the month, while foreign orders were down 6.7%, Destatis said. New orders in the eurozone were down 2.3% and those from other countries were down 9.3% from April.

On an annual basis, orders increased 54.3% in May, adjusted for timing and price effects. They were 6.2% higher from levels in February 2020 – the last month before the pandemic hit Europe – the statistics office said.

Germany’s manufacturing sector has performed well in recent months, fueled by external demand amid the global economic recovery from the pandemic. However, manufacturers are grappling with widespread shortages of parts and raw materials, hampering production and increasing costs, recent surveys show. German industrial production data for May is due for release on Wednesday.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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