German electrical and digital industry: Incoming orders still declining

In February 2024, orders in the German electrical and digital industry fell 10% short of the previous year's figure. This is according to a publication by the German Electrical and Digital Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI e.V.), Frankfurt am Main (Germany). "This means that incoming orders here fell just as sharply as in the previous month of January," said ZVEI Chief Economist Dr. Andreas Gontermann.

While domestic orders fell by 7.6% in February, orders from foreign customers fell more sharply (minus 11.9%). New orders from the eurozone were 10.1% and 12.8% lower than a year earlier. In the first two months of this year combined, incoming orders were down 10.5% on the previous year. Domestic orders fell by 8.1%. The value of foreign orders was 12.4% lower than in the same period in 2023 (eurozone: minus 9.7%, non-eurozone: minus 13.9%).

The real production of electrical and electronic goods in Germany, i.e. adjusted for price effects, fell short of the previous year's level by 5.5% in February 2024. In the first two months of this year combined, it was down 5.9% on the previous year.

The electrical and electronics sector also recorded a decline in turnover: At €18.4 billion, nominal revenue in February 2024 was 3.9% lower overall than in the same month last year. Turnover with domestic customers amounted to 8.8 billion euros (down 4.9%) and 9.6 billion euros (down 3.1%) with foreign customers. While sales with business partners from the eurozone fell by 0.7% to 3.6 billion euros in February, sales with customers outside the single currency area fell by 4.3% to 6.0 billion euros.

From January to February 2024, aggregated industry revenue fell by 5.1% year-on-year to EUR 35.5 billion. In the first two months, business worth EUR 16.9 billion was conducted in Germany (- 6.8%) and EUR 18.6 billion abroad (- 3.6%). The development of sales with partners from the eurozone (± 0.0% to €7.0 billion) was more favorable than that with customers from third countries (- 5.6% to €11.6 billion).

Nevertheless, German electrical and electronics companies revised their production plans slightly upwards in March 2024. "However, the balance of companies that want to increase or decrease their output in the next three months remains negative at minus seven percentage points," says Gontermann.

The business climate in the German electrical and digital industry continued to recover overall in March 2024 - for the fourth time in a row. "However, the assessment of the current situation and general business expectations developed in different directions. The former was worse than in February, while the latter improved and even turned slightly positive for the first time in a year," said Gontermann.

Caption: The figures are still in decline, but the business climate in the German electrical and digital industry continues to recover. (Picture: ZWEI e.V.)

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