FRANKFURT, GERMANY -- New orders for German electrical and electronic products soared 17% year-over-year in March, according to new data from ZVEI.
The trade group tempered the news, however, saying the huge increase was due to both a base effect and a calendar effect.
Bookings declined 12% in March 2016, the trade group noted. Moreover, this year’s March had two more working days than last year’s.
Domestic and foreign orders rose by 13.9% and 19.7%, respectively, in March. Bookings from euro zone customers were 30.7% higher than a year ago, and new orders from third countries exceeded their preyear level by 13.6%.
For the month, sales were up 12.5% from a year ago to €17.4 billion. In the quarter, sales reached €45.8 billion and up 8.4% since the start of the year. Domestic sales are up 5.6% to €21.8 billion, while foreign sales are up 10.8% to €24 billion.
In the first quarter new orders in the sector grew 10.2%. Domestic and foreign bookings picked up 11.1% and 9.3%, respectively. Euro zone clients raised their orders 16.2%, while clients from non-euro area countries booked 5.3% more than a year earlier.
Production, adjusted for price, was up 11.7% in March, in large part due to the additional working days. Through March, total output is up 7.3% from a year ago. Capacity utilization has risen by almost 150 basis points to 86.4%, and the average reach of unfilled orders increased from 2.8 to 2.9 (production) months.
Some 33% of the responding firms intend to raise output in the next three months, but only 7% plan to curb it.
The business climate within the German E&E Industry has reached its highest level since the reunification. In particular the assessment of the current economic situation soared compared to the previous month. The overall business expectations picked up, too, albeit more moderately: 61% of the sector’s firms evaluate their present situation as good, 31% as stable and 8% as bad.