German factory orders rise more than expected in January
German factory orders rose more than expected in January, according to figures released by Destatis on Friday.
Orders pushed up 1.4% on the month following a 2.2% decline the month before, and compared to expectations for a 0.7% jump.
On the year, factory orders rose 2.5% following a 6.1% increase in December, undershooting expectations for 6.4% growth.
Compared to February 2020, a month before Covid-related restrictions kicked in, order intake in January was 3.7% higher.
Domestic orders were down 2.6% on the month, while orders from abroad rose 4.2%. Incoming orders from the eurozone increased 3.9% and incoming orders from the rest of the world rose 4.4%.
The manufacturers of intermediate goods saw orders rise 0.2% from December, while capital goods manufacturers saw a 3.3% increase. In the consumer goods sector, orders fell 5.8%.
Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "These data point to decent start to 2021 for new orders in German manufacturing, but they also suggest that momentum is now slowing, opening the door for the full force of sustained weakness in services, and a drop in consumers’ spending on goods, to drive GDP down in Q1."
ING said: "The rebound in industrial orders confirms that the divergence between manufacturing and services will continue in 2021.
"Soft indicators had already pointed in that direction and now hard data confirm this divergence. While retail sales took a sharp hit in January, industrial orders improved.
"It looks as if at least the industry seems to benefit from the fact that some countries are faster and more advanced with the vaccination strategy and reopenings than Germany."