Arbeiter in einem Werk stehen für Auftragseingang im Verarbeitenden Gewerbe.

© Monty Rakusen/cultura/Corbis

According to the Federal Statistical Office1 , new orders increased significantly in May compared with the previous month, rising by 6.4% after having slumped in March and then moving sideways. As in April, the development of new orders month-on-month was strongly impacted by fluctuations in large orders; excluding these, the increase was 3.2%.

Growth in orders was equally driven by domestic and foreign demand. Following declines in March and April, orders from abroad increased noticeably again (+6.4%), with demand from the eurozone in particular picking up again recently (+6.5%). Domestic orders also rose again significantly in May (+6.2%).

New industrial orders developed positively, particularly in the important automotive and automotive parts sector (+8.6%) and the pharmaceutical industry (+5.7%). By contrast, there were significant declines among manufacturers of electrical equipment (-15.0%) and consumer durables (-9.4%).

Overall, the recent sharp fluctuations in new orders are stabilising. However, new orders still developed negatively in the two-month comparison (-2.6%). While the order backlog in the manufacturing sector is progressively declining, it is still at a historically high level and demand for capital goods increased noticeably in May, both at home and abroad. Sales in industry are also pointing upwards again. Against the backdrop of the subdued business climate in the manufacturing sector, there are thus indications of a slight, albeit restrained, expansion in industrial production in the remaining year.


1 Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 6 July 2023.