German factory orders rose more than economists forecast in March as demand from outside the euro area helped Europe’s largest economy weather the debt crisis.
Factory orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, jumped 2.2 per cent from February, when they gained a revised 0.6 per cent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said Monday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a 0.5-per cent increase, according to the median of 37 estimates. From a year ago, orders dropped 1.3 per cent when adjusted for work days.
German companies are tapping faster-growing emerging markets as the sovereign debt crisis curbs demand in the euro region. Business confidence climbed to a nine-month high last month and investor sentiment unexpectedly rose to a two-year high.
Still, economic growth will slow to 0.6 per cent this year from 3 per cent in 2011, according to the Bundesbank, as fellow euro-area members drop back into recessions.
Monday’s data are “a very positive surprise,” said Klaus Baader, senior economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. “The numbers show that despite the crisis in the euro area, Germany is growing and benefiting from a revival in international trade.”
The euro rose to US$1.3039 after the report from as low as US$1.2956 earlier Monday. It fell after Francois Hollande Sunday won the French presidency and Greek voters stripped the ruling coalition of its majority, igniting concern that the region is losing its appetite for austerity.