Development of incoming orders in the manufacturing sector reporting month January 2024

According to the Federal Statistical Office , new orders fell significantly in January compared to the previous month (-11.3%) after a strong increase in December (+12.0%), adjusted for price, calendar and seasonal effects. Both domestic (-11.2%) and foreign (-11.4%) orders declined. After an above-average increase in December (+34.3%), significantly fewer orders were received from the eurozone (-25.7%), while demand from other countries expanded by +1.6%. However, incoming orders in December were strongly influenced by fluctuations in large orders compared to the previous month; excluding these, January saw a drop of 2.1% (December: +0.9%).

© Federal Statistical Office
Manufacturing industry in Germany: gross value added by sector © Federal Statistical Office

The decline in new orders at the beginning of the year was spread across the majority of individual manufacturing sectors: particularly significant falls were observed in the electrical equipment (-33.2%), metal products (-14.5%) and pharmaceutical products (-9.4%) sectors. However, the important sectors of mechanical engineering (-4.7%) and chemical products (-0.3%) were also down. In contrast, order growth was recorded in the motor vehicle/vehicle parts sector (+4.2%) - primarily as a result of orders from outside the eurozone.

After the strong increase in December, which was characterized by large orders, incoming orders in the manufacturing sector fell back in January, as expected. In a less volatile two-month comparison, new orders increased by 5.9%. Sentiment indicators such as the ifo business climate index and the purchasing managers' index EMI suggest that the industrial economy will stabilize in the first quarter.