Arbeiter in einem Werk stehen für Auftragseingang im Verarbeitenden Gewerbe.

© Monty Rakusen/cultura/Corbis

According to the Federal Statistical Office1, new manufacturing orders rose between January and February by 4.8%. This rate of increase represents the third increase in a row and the highest month-on-month change since June 2021. Excluding major orders the increase is 1.2%. However, orders are still 5.9% below last year’s level.

In monthly terms, domestic demand increased noticeably (+5.6%). Orders from the eurozone also recovered strongly from the decline at the beginning of the year (+8.9%), while orders from the non-eurozone rose only slightly (+1.4%) after growing strongly in January.

At the sector level, however, the trend was not entirely positive: important sectors such as automotive and automotive parts (+3.7%) and metal production (+2.5%) saw continued growth. Other sectors such as mechanical engineering (+2.8%), chemicals (+2.1%) and metal products (+1.6%) also recorded an increase in demand after declines in January. However, orders from manufacturers of electrical equipment (-1.7%) and pharmaceuticals (-5.5%) were still on a downward trend.

This shows that new orders are continuing to recover in many sectors of German industry. An improvement in indicators of sentiment has also been observed in recent months. Overall, there are signs of an economic recovery at the beginning of 2023 following the weak year-end quarter in 2022.

1 Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 5 April 2023.