Germany factory orders rebound in Jan., ahead of virus impact
March 6, 2020 by The Associated Press
Factory orders in Germany rebounded strongly in January after two months of declines, official data showed Friday, but it remains to be seen what impact mounting concerns over the coronavirus outbreak will have on Europe’s biggest economy.
Orders were up 5.5 per cent compared with the previous month, the Economy Ministry said. They were led higher by a 15.1 per cent surge in demand from other countries in the 19-nation eurozone. Orders from other countries were up 7.8 per cent while those from within Germany declined 1.3 per cent.
Orders had dropped by 2.1 per cent in December and 0.8 per cent in January. In December, demand from other eurozone countries dropped 14 per cent.
The ministry said January’s performance was boosted by an above-average number of bulk orders but, on the whole, orders have stabilized over recent months. It noted that companies’ business expectations have been on the rise but it remains to be seen what effect new risks linked to the coronavirus have.
Germany’s economy has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year’s 0.6 per cent growth was already the weakest since 2013. There was zero growth in the fourth quarter.
Exports are an important factor in Germany’s economy. Germany also has confirmed more than 500 infections at home with the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness.