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Economy in Brief

German Orders Rebound and show Mixed Patterns
by Robert Brusca  May 7, 2012

German orders are making an attempt at stability. Orders are up for the second month in a row for the first time since June of 2011. The one-month gain in March is a solid 2.2% rise. Foreign orders are driving the monthly result with foreign orders rising for two months running by 1.7% in Feb and 3% in March. Domestic orders are up by 1.3% in March after dropping by 0.8% in Feb.

Over 12-months both foreign and domestic orders are lower. Over six month foreign orders are still falling at a 0.2% annual rate while domestic orders are off at a sharper 2.9% pace. Over three months, however, both domestic and foreign orders are higher at a 3.2% pace for foreign orders and a 9.1% pace for domestic orders.

There is some attempt by each of these series to reassert stability.

Foreign orders to destination inside the Euro-Area were unchanged in March after falling by 3.3% in February. Other foreign order rose by a very strong 4.8% on top of a 4.9% increase in February. Orders for capital goods fell by about 3% in Feb and again in March from Euro-Area sources. But for other foreign orders, capital goods orders after rising 3% in February spurted by 12.8% in March. German domestic capital goods orders have waffled rising by 1.87% in Feb then falling by 1.3% in March.

Durable consumer goods orders are off by 0.2% in March and 0.7% in February in Germany’s domestic market. For Euro-Area members those orders are up by 14.9% in March after falling by 8.8% in February. That does not seem reflected in reports of consumer spending we have seen from other Euro-Area members just yet. Non EMU Foreign durables consumer goods orders rose by 5.2% in March after a drop of 0.4% in Feb.

On balance the German internal market remains weak. The Euro-Area market is also weak. But other overseas sources of demand are providing some strength.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the Euro-Area output and consumption: how are patterns going to be affected in the Wake of the French and Greek elections.

German Orders and Sales By Sector and Origin
Real and SA % M/M % SAAR
  Mar'12 Feb'12 Jan'12 3Mo 6Mo 12Mo YrAgo Q-2-D
Total Orders 2.2% 0.6% -1.4% 5.6% -1.4% -1.2% 10.4% -2.9%
Foreign 3.0% 1.7% -3.8% 3.2% -0.2% -0.8% 13.1% -3.3%
Domestic 1.3% -0.8% 1.7% 9.1% -2.9% -1.8% 7.4% -2.5%
Real Sector Sales
MFG/Mining 0.1% 1.3% 0.8% 9.3% -0.2% 0.6% 10.8% 1.6%
Consumer 1.8% 0.2% -1.7% 1.2% -1.6% -1.3% 2.7% -6.7%
Cons Durables 0.4% -0.9% 3.6% 12.9% -3.4% -2.9% 11.8% 0.1%
Cons Non-Durable 2.0% 0.4% -2.5% -0.4% -1.2% -1.0% 1.3% -7.6%
Captial Gds -0.9% 2.8% 2.2% 17.8% 2.1% 4.5% 13.4% 9.0%
Intermediate Gds 0.8% -0.4% 1.0% 5.4% -1.0% -2.7% 12.9% -1.5%
All MFG-Sales 0.2% 1.2% 0.9% 9.7% 0.2% 0.8% 10.8% 2.0%
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