Incoming orders from industry still in the red! A surprise + waiting for the coronavirus!

The Federal Statistical Office has just published the new orders received by industry (manufacturing industry) for the month of January. They are slumping extremely sharply! Compared to January 2019, new orders are down by 1.4 percent! One month ago, December 2019 showed a year-on-year decline of 8.9 percent. So there is no sign of an industrial recovery. Even if the following short-term data suggests otherwise. For in a month-on-month comparison with December, they are rising by a substantial 5.5 percent (previous month -2.1 percent), with expectations of +1.4 percent. That the monthly comparisons are less meaningful can be seen in the following bar chart – sometimes up, sometimes down. These were the data for January. It was not until February that the coronavirus really took hold in the German economy. How badly will industrial new orders suffer in February? We will know in exactly four weeks’ time when the statisticians publish the February data.


The following chart shows the orders received in the manufacturing industry since 2012. At the end you can see the very fresh increase on a monthly basis. But we are sticking with it. The annual comparison is crucial!

Auftragseingänge der Industrie im Chart

Here are further detailed statements of the statisticians in the wording:

Domestic orders fell by 1.3% in January 2020 compared with the previous month. Foreign orders increased by 10.5%. Incoming orders from the Eurozone increased by 15.1 %. Orders from the rest of the world rose by 7.8 % compared to December 2019.

For intermediate goods manufacturers, new orders in January 2020 were 3.5% higher than in the previous month. Manufacturers of capital goods recorded growth of 7.1 %. Orders for consumer goods rose by 2.9 %.

In December 2019, real new orders in manufacturing were 2.1% lower than in November 2019, confirming the preliminary results.

Sales: +2.0 % seasonally adjusted compared to the previous month.

According to preliminary data, real turnover in the manufacturing sector in January 2020 was 2.0% higher than in the previous month, adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects. For December 2019 there was a decline of 0.7 % (provisional figure: -1.3 %).

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