|Month over Month||0.2%||-1.2%||-0.1%||0.5%|
|Year over Year||0.3%||-1.0%||0.3%|
Manufacturing orders surprisingly fell 1.2 percent on the month in February following an upwardly revised 0.5 percent gain at the start of the year. Annual growth was unchanged at 0.3 percent.
February's decline was dominated by a 7.3 percent monthly slump in consumer and durable goods although capital goods also declined a hefty 2.1 percent. Basic goods (1.7 percent) provided a partial offset.
However, weakness was at least concentrated in overseas demand and orders from here were down 2.7 percent versus January when they increased 1.9 percent. This was the fifth contraction in the last six months and dictated by consumer and durable goods which collapsed 10.4 percent. Meantime, the domestic market returned to positive growth with a modest 0.9 percent advance although this came nowhere close to reversing the cumulative 2.3 percent drop recorded in December/January.
Today's data put average total orders in January/February 0.2 percent below their fourth quarter average. They also probably make for some downside risk to tomorrow's industrial production report. More generally, the weakness of pipeline demand argues against any significant pick-up in manufacturing activity next quarter.
Manufacturers' orders measure new orders placed for manufactured goods, both domestic and foreign.
Manufacturers' orders data are keenly awaited by analysts each month. The data present a detailed breakdown by various sectors and a reading of the pulse of a major sector of the economy. Like the PPI, manufacturing orders data exclude construction, which is the preferred Eurostat measure.
The manufacturers' orders data rank among the most important early indicators for monitoring and analyzing German economic wellbeing. Because these data are available for both foreign and domestic orders they are a good indication of the relative strength of the domestic and export economies. The results are compiled each month in the form of value indexes to measure the nominal development of demand and in the form of volume indexes to illustrate the price-adjusted development of demand. Unlike in the U.S., orders data are not collected for all manufacturing classifications - but only those parts in which the make-to-order production plays a prominent role. Not included are, for example, mining, quarrying and the food industry.
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