German factory orders rise in May after 2 huge declines

BERLIN (AP) — German factory orders recovered some ground in May, rising 10.4% compared with the previous month after huge drops in March and April at the height of Europe’s coronavirus crisis.

The figure reported Monday by the Economy Ministry followed declines of 15% in March and 26.2% in April. The ministry said it suggests that the recession in industry is past its worst, but “the still-low level of orders also shows that the catching-up process is far from concluded.”

The rise in May was led by orders from other countries in the 19-nation eurozone, which were up 20.9%. Orders from inside Germany were up 12.3%, but demand from countries outside the eurozone was up a relatively feeble 2%.

The German economy, Europe’s biggest, went into a recession in the first quarter that is believed to have deepened in the just-concluded second quarter. The government is seeking to boost the economy with a 130 billion-euro ($146 billion) stimulus package, including a six-month cut in value-added tax that took effect last week.

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