German Factories Remain Resilient to Crisis as Orders Rise
German factory orders rose in February, supporting Europe’s largest economy through coronavirus restrictions that continue to persist.
Demand increased 1.2%, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The gain was driven by orders from within the country and the euro area, with those for investment goods especially strong.
The reading underlines how resilient Germany’s manufacturing sector has been to the latest round of curbs, benefiting from economic recoveries elsewhere. But with restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops shut, economists still predict output contracted in the first quarter. A preliminary estimate is due at the end of April.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration is debating tightening restriction once again to fight the third wave of virus infections. The number of severe cases in German intensive-care facilities continues to rise and the pace of inoculations remains sluggish.
Euro-area countries are banking on a boost to vaccine supplies in the current quarter to finally accelerate immunization campaigns and allow restrictions to be lifted. Economists expect the currency bloc to grow by around 4% this year, driven by a strong rebound in the second half.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.