The “NTC/BME purchase manager index” reached 55.1 points in March and was thus 0.8 point above the February index as well as for the 31st time above the 50-points barrier. This is mainly due to a strong increase in new orders which led to increased production in all lines of industry. Furthermore, numerous orders from China and Russia resulted in full order books.
The strongest growth rates were reached by manufacturers of investment goods. Due to the flourishing economy industrial companies recruited as many people as they had not done since the index was first compiled in the year 1996 (occupation index reached 56.5 points). Almost 20% of companies created more jobs.
There was a strong demand for German industrial products both on the domestic and foreign markets. While the current Euro/dollar exchange rate curbed demand from the USA, there was a boom in orders from China and Russia. Due to this, the order books of companies are currently as full as they were in August 2007 for the last time.
Industrial companies strongly increased their purchase activities. Rising prices for energy and metal led to the highest inflation in eight months. In order to maintain their profit margins companies raised their sales prices.
Shortages of production input materials such as steel led to longer average delivery times.
The “NTC/BME purchase manager index” which is compiled on behalf of the BME association is a monthly indicator which is to forecast the economic development in Germany. This index is based on interviews with 500 purchase managers and managing directors from the German processing industry.