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Production in the manufacturing industry – reporting month May 2024

According to the Federal Statistical Office, production in the manufacturing industry fell by 2.5% in May compared to the previous month, after adjustment for price, calendar and seasonal effects. In April, output had more or less stagnated (+0.1%). Most recently, not only was output in the construction sector cut back by 3.3% (April: -1.2%). Industrial production was also cut back by 2.9% (April: +0.4%). In contrast, energy production increased again, by 2.6% (April: +0.4%).

The weakness in production in May was evident in a number of sectors of the economy: the largest declines were recorded in the areas of electrical equipment (-7.2%), mechanical engineering (-5.9%), pharmaceutical products (-5.4%) and motor vehicles/vehicle parts (-5.2%). Manufacturers of beverages (+3.2%), chemical products (+2.4%) and food and animal feed (+1.4%), on the other hand, were able to increase their output. Production also increased slightly by 0.2% in the particularly energy-intensive industrial sectors (April: -0.8%).

In the less volatile three-month comparison, there was a slight increase in industry (+0.4%), driven by the consumer goods (+1.3%) and intermediate goods (+0.9%) sectors. The weak demand for capital goods led to a decline of 0.3% in this area. In the construction industry, a slight increase of 0.1% was recorded in the three-month comparison due to the previously strong expansion.

Together with the recent deterioration in business expectations in the manufacturing sector, the ongoing declines in incoming orders initially point to a rather subdued industrial economy in the coming months. Only in the course of the
further recovery of world trade and the gradual revival of demand for industrial products, production is likely to stabilise.