German industrial orders unexpectedly rise in November

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – German industrial orders beat forecasts in November, unexpectedly rising on the back of strong demand from eurozone countries, official data showed yesterday.

Demand was 2.3 per cent higher than in October, federal statistics agency Destatis said.

The data trumped analysts’ expectations of a 1.4-per-cent slump, according to a poll by FactSet.

Orders were also four per cent above those in February 2020, the month before curbs were imposed to halt transmission of the coronavirus.

The data for November marks the seventh month of rises in orders, albeit slightly below the growth of 3.3 per cent in October, as Germany continued to recover from the economic slump of the first wave of the pandemic. Industrial orders are widely tracked as a key indicator of future activity, especially in manufacturing powerhouse Germany.

Europe’s biggest economy shuttered restaurants, leisure and sporting facilities in November to curb a second wave of the virus.

But factories and manufacturing businesses stayed open.

As a result, “new orders continued their recovery process in November”, the Economy ministry said in a statement.

Orders from inside Germany rose 1.6 per cent month-on-month, while those from the euro area jumped 6.1 per cent, and other countries by 0.9 per cent.

“German industry has remained almost unharmed by the November lockdown,” ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.

But he warned that with upcoming “stricter lockdowns in many main trading partner countries, setbacks for industry seem hard to avoid”.