Germany's manufacturing orders exceed pre-pandemic levels, chem-pharma remains lower

Author: Stefan Baumgarten

2020/12/04

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s October manufacturing orders exceeded pre-pandemic levels from February for the first time this year, driven by auto industry orders, according to official data on Friday.

Orders were up 0.8% compared with February 2020, before the pandemic hit Europe in earnest in March causing a sharp fall in economic activity.

Month on month, orders rose 2.9% in October, from September; year on year, they were up 1.8% from October 2019.

CHEM-PHARMA NOT THERE YET
In the chemical-pharmaceutical industry, however, orders rose month on month but are yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Led by domestic orders, the index rose in October to 104.9 points, from September's 101.7 points, but year on year remains slightly lower (105.0 points in October 2019).

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, chemical-pharmaceutical orders were still considerably lower than in February, when they stood at 111.7 points; the index’s base year is 2015.

Total October manufacturing orders

+/- September
Total orders 2.9%
Order excluding big ticket items 1.7%
-Intermediate goods 2.3%
-Capital goods 3.8%
-Consumer goods -2.2%
Domestic orders 2.4%
Foreign orders 3.2%
-Eurozone orders 0.5%
-Orders from other countries 4.8%

Source: Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden

Analysts at Oxford Economics noted that the order data does not capture impacts from Germany's renewed lockdown measures to contain the second wave of the pandemic.

The measures came into effect on 2 November and have been extended until at least 20 December.

Nevertheless, the October data provided “further evidence that the industrial sector continued to drive the German recovery" at the start of the fourth quarter while other contact-intensive, services sectors felt the pinch from the deteriorating health situation.

Front page picture: Hydrogen power plant in Laage, north Germany
Source: Felipe Trueba/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 

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