Is the soft spot over? German new orders increased in March and more than offset the February decline, adding to evidence that the outlook for the German industry is slightly brightening.
New orders increased by 1.9% MoM, the sharpest monthly increase since June last year. The February drop was revised upwards to “only” -0.8% MoM. On the year, new orders were up by 1.8%. The March increase was mainly driven by a sharp surge in foreign orders (+4.3% MoM), probably on the back of bulk orders.
Even if monthly new orders data is too volatile to be a really reliable indicator of what is going on in the industry, today’s numbers give some hope that the stagnation since last summer is gradually fading away. New orders are now up by some 3% compared with last September. Interestingly, this pick-up can mainly be attributed to foreign orders, suggesting that the cooling of activity might not be as severe as it seemed some months ago.