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 by 25.8% between March and April. [2] The manufacturers of capital and intermediate goods reported falls of 30.6% and 22.7% respectively, whereas orders of consumer goods declined by 11.4%. Excluding large-scale orders, orders in the manufacturing sector dropped to a similar extent (-25.1%).

In the two-month comparison of March/April against January/February, new orders in the manufacturing sector declined by 26.3%. The level of new orders from the eurozone was most affected (-32.6%). Domestic orders and orders from the non-eurozone dropped by 22.6% and 26.6% respectively.

In the shutdown month of April, new industrial orders fell further, as expected. The restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic applied in most important sales countries throughout the month. In view of the successive relaxations, industrial activity is, however, likely to have bottomed out now.

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[1] Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 5 June 2020.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar, and seasonal factors (X13 JDemetra+ procedure).