Incoming orders in German industry fell as sharply in March as they did at the beginning of the Corona crisis. According to the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, companies received 10.7 percent fewer orders than in the previous month.
It is the most significant decline since the onset of the pandemic in April 2020. Orders also fell sharply by 11.0 percent compared to the same month last year.
In January and February, orders were still higher than in the previous month. In the first quarter there was a slight increase of 0.2 percent compared to the previous quarter.
The decline in March compared to the previous month was particularly pronounced in other vehicle construction, which includes ships, aircraft and military vehicles (minus 47.4 percent). In February, large orders had caused a strong increase here (plus 55.0 percent).
Economics Ministry is confident
According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, there were also fewer orders in important sectors such as automobiles and automobile parts, metal production and mechanical engineering. On the other hand, orders from manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, among others, have increased.
The ministry pointed to the recent strong fluctuations in incoming orders overall and was generally confident. "Following the weak final quarter of 2022 and the volatile start of 2023, an economic recovery can be expected for the remainder of the year."
However, Commerzbank chief economist Jörg Krämer sees increasing risks for the export-oriented German industry due to the global interest rate hikes. "In addition, the thrust from processing orders that were delayed due to a lack of material is decreasing."