However, new orders for German manufacturers were still down 29.3 percent compared to last year, according to Destatis.
The decline was more pronounced in April when new orders in German manufacturing fell by 36.9 percent year-on-year.
"The corona(virus) crisis has thus been shaping developments in the manufacturing sector for several months now," according to Destatis.
Compared to February, when COVID-19 restrictions were not imposed in Germany, new orders in May were down by 30.8 percent, according to Destatis.
In German automotive industry, new orders were even 47 percent lower than in February, although new orders had "risen significantly again" in May, according to Destatis.
"The latest data on new orders indicates that the industrial recession has bottomed out," the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said.
The low level of orders would also show that the catch-up process was "far from complete," according to BMWi.