FRANKFURT - Orders in Germany's key mechanical engineering sector slipped in May after a surge in April due to declining demand at home, the industry federation said Friday.
Last month, machine-tool orders in Europe's top economy fell 5% in a year-on-year comparison due to a 14% decline in domestic demand.
Orders from abroad held steady, the VDMA association said.
Germany has long been a leader in supplying world markets with precision engineered equipment and parts for industrial processes and products, and this activity is an important part of its export prowess.
After a weak first quarter, machine-tool orders saw a short-lived rebound in April with an 8% boost in orders.
"While demand from abroad remained stable compared to last year, domestic orders disappointed," VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers said in a statement.
Taking a three-month comparison to iron out short-term fluctuations, overall orders were flat in a comparison to last year.
German orders fell 8% in the period from March to May, while foreign orders rose 3%, VDMA calculated.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013