Workers at a plant stand for new orders in the manufacturing sector

© Monty Rakusen/cultura/Corbis

According to the Federal Statistical Office [1], new manufacturing orders fell between February and March by 0.9%. [2] This is mainly due to a decline in orders for capital goods (-1,8%). Whilst foreign orders dropped by 2.6%, domestic orders rose by 1.5%. If large orders are excluded, the figures for March are more favourable (-0.1%).

The trend in orders also pointed downwards. The first quarter of 2018 saw a drop of 2.1% in new orders compared with the preceding quarter. The decline in ordering activity from countries outside the eurozone was particularly marked.

Following a dynamic increase in manufacturing orders in the second half of 2017 in particular, the first quarter of 2018 witnessed a predictably calmer development. However, the companies’ order books are still very full. In February, the orders on their books were sufficient for 5.6 months, the highest figure since statistics began in 2015. Despite a slight dip in orders in the first quarter, the industrial trend remains positive.


[1] Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 7 May 2018.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar day and seasonal factors (X13 JDemetra+ procedure).