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Indicators point to sustained period of German industrial weakness - ministry

Indicators point to sustained period of German industrial weakness - ministry
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer -
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Fabian Bimmer(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s manufacturing industry and exports are suffering from a slowing global economy, the finance ministry said in its monthly report on Monday, warning that weak order numbers suggested the industrial slowdown could be lengthy.

But the domestic demand picture seemed healthier, with employment levels still growing as companies took on new staff, if at a slower pace, though the ministry expected the pace to slacken still further there as well.

“Leading indicators as well as shrinking order books point to a lasting period of economic weakness in the industrial sector,” the report said.

The report reflects the impression given by a host of indicators recently that the decade-long boom in Europe’s largest economy has come to an end, as factors like Brexit and the risk of a trade war weigh on Germany’s exporters.

Traditionally an export-led economy, Germany is increasingly relying on domestic demand and a still-buoyant services sector to sustain economic growth, a point that Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded during her summer press conference last week, when she said the government would try to stimulate domestic demand.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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