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Financial News: German Factory Orders Log Record Fall In March

German Factory Orders Log Record Fall In March

05/06/2020 - 08:23:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's factory orders declined the most since the records began in 1991, as measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, or covid-19, pandemic dampened both domestic and foreign demand.

Factory orders declined sharply by 15.6 percent on a monthly basis in March, much bigger than the 1.2 percent drop posted in February, data published by Destatis revealed Wednesday.

This was the biggest fall since January 1991 and also larger than the expected decrease of 10 percent.

Domestic orders slid 14.8 percent and foreign orders fell 16.1 percent from the previous month.

Excluding major orders, new orders in manufacturing were 15.5 percent lower than in the previous month.

On a yearly basis, overall factory orders decreased 16 percent, in contrast to a 1.9 percent rise in February.

Data showed that turnover in manufacturing declined 11.5 percent month-on-month in March versus an increase of 0.5 percent in February.

The economy ministry said a sharp decline in production next month can be expected due to covid-19 pandemic.

The statistical office is scheduled to issue industrial production data for March. Economists expect output to fall 7.4 percent on month, reversing a 0.3 percent rise in February.

Elsewhere, Purchasing Managers' survey showed that the downturn in the German private sector deepened in April.

The covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns led to record decreases in both manufacturing and services output. The composite output index posted a historic low of 17.4, down from the previous record of 35.0 in March and the flash reading of 17.1.

The services PMI came in at an all-time low 16.2 versus 31.7 in the previous month. The initial reading was 15.9.

Nonetheless, the decline in Germany's economy has been less severe than in France, Italy and Spain, where lockdowns have been more strict, Phil Smith, a principal economist at IHS Markit said.

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