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German factory orders post unexpected jump

German factory orders posted an unexpected jump in November as Europe’s biggest manufacturing sector rode out the resurgence of Covid-19.

Orders rose 2.3% from a month earlier, smashing analysts’ average forecast for a 0.5% decline as exports to other eurozone countries surged. Compared with a year earlier orders rose 6.3%, Destatis said, beating a consensus estimate of 2.1%.

Intermediate goods showed the biggest increase, rising 4.9% month on month. Export orders to EU markets rose 6.1% and domestic orders increased 1.6%. Non-eurozone export orders rose 0.9%.

Claus Vistesen, chief Eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “This is a very strong number, adding to the evidence that manufacturing in Germany is taking the return of the virus, and the associated economic disruptions, in its stride. Short leading indicators now suggest that momentum will ease, but they also indicate that the recovery will be sustained at the start of Q1.”

Germany and many markets for manufacturing goods increased Covid-19 restrictions in November in an effort to stem rising infections. Chancellor Angela Merkel tightened and extended lockdown measures on Wednesday as infections continued to surge.

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