German factory orders rise in April in positive sign

German factory orders rose for the second month in a row during April, a positive sign for Europe's biggest economy at a time of global trade uncertainty.

The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday that industrial orders rose 0.3% in April over March, after adjusting for seasonal and calendar factors. It also revised March's increase to 0.8% from a preliminary 0.6%.

However, on an annual basis, orders were down 5.3%, a clear indicator of the slowdown in global trade growth.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski said the report is overall good news, but that the "strong numbers only marginally offset the losses of the first months."

He said it will "still take a while" before Germany's important industrial sector returns as a powerful growth engine for the whole economy.