BERLIN (Reuters) -German industrial orders rose more than expected in February driven by strong growth in the vehicle construction sector.
Orders increased by 4.8% on the previous month on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, the federal statistics office said on Wednesday.
A Reuters poll of analysts had pointed to a 0.3% increase.
New orders in the manufacturing sector have risen for the third month in a row and are 7.3% higher than in November 2022, the statistics office said.
Excluding large-scale orders, there was a month-on-month increase of 1.2% in February.
New orders continue to recover in many sectors of German manufacturing and, in line with this, an improvement in sentiment indicators has also been observed in recent months, the economics ministry said in response to the data.
“Overall, there are signs of an economic recovery at the beginning of 2023 following the weak end-of-year quarter in 2022,” the ministry said.
Top German economic institutes are expected to announce their forecasts later on Wednesday. They see Europe’s largest economy narrowly avoiding a recession with modest growth in the first quarter, according to the forecasts seen by Reuters.
The number of positive economic reports is increasing, but a uniform picture has not emerged recently, Thomas Gitzel, chief economist at VP Bank Group said.
“The weak new orders of 2022 are yet to show their negative consequences in industrial production,” Gitzel said. Combined with continued weak consumption, this does not bode well for the near-term economic outlook, despite some signs of improvement, he added.
The statistics office publishes more economic data on its website.
(Reporting by Linda Pasquini and Maria Martinez, Editing by Rachel More and Andrew Heavens)