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 rose between December and January by 5.5%. [2] This was not least due to large-scale orders. However even without taking large-scale orders into account, new orders were up 2.3%. New domestic orders rose by 1.3%. In contrast, there were increases of 15.1% and 7.8% respectively in orders from the eurozone and the non-eurozone, which were particularly due to some large contracts.

In the two-month comparison of December/January versus October/November, new manufacturing orders increased slightly, up 0.2%. Adjusted for large orders, new orders rose by 0.5%.

In addition to large orders, the release of pent-up demand resulting from the days taken off by the workforce in December to bridge the gap between the Christmas holidays and the weekend are also likely to have played a role in January. Overall, industrial output has stabilised in the last few months. Companies’ business expectations have brightened for five months in a row. This suggests that industrial activity is close to its turning point. However, it remains to be seen what effect the new risks posed by the coronavirus will have.

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[1] Press release from the Federal Statistical Office of 6 March 2020.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar day and seasonal factors (X13 JDemetra+ procedure).