After its best performance in a year in the first quarter, German economic prospects remain positive: business confidence is at the highest level since 1991 and manufacturers and service providers are seeing the fastest growth in six years.
The manufacturing sector lost 1,000 jobs in May, breaking a five-month streak of factory job growth.
Recent indicators have pointed to slowing growth in the country, and these figures compare with an official reading Wednesday suggesting that Chinese factory activity expanded in May.
Growth in auto debt since the financial crisis has set off alarm bells on Wall Street and among regulators who are concerned that borrowers may be overburdened and used car prices are falling.
The figures on orders and shipments may raise concern that a pickup in first-quarter business investment was temporary.