Berlin According to a survey, German industry can produce longer than ever with its current order backlog. They are enough for the next 4.5 months, as the Munich Ifo Institute announced on Thursday in its monthly company survey.
“This has never happened since we first asked this question in 1969,” said Timo Wollmershäuser, head of Ifo economic forecasts. “The incoming orders of the past few months could not be processed because the companies lacked important preliminary products and raw materials.”
Once this deficiency is remedied, an upswing could follow. “Should the bottlenecks resolve in the coming months, production in German industry could take off,” said Wollmershäuser. “That should then give a strong boost to economic output.”
The shortage of materials eased a little at the beginning of the year: In January, 67.3 percent of industrial companies were still complaining about bottlenecks and problems in procuring primary products such as semiconductors and raw materials. In December it was still around 82 percent.
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The order backlog is particularly large in the automotive industry (manufacturers and suppliers) with an estimated production time of 8.0 months, in mechanical engineering (6.1 months) and among manufacturers of data processing equipment (5.0 months). According to the Ifo Institute, printer orders go the least far at 1.9 months.
The bottlenecks noticeably slowed down the German economy last year. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), industrial production was around twelve percent below the level that would actually have been possible given the high level of incoming orders. “This corresponds to lost added value of around 70 billion euros,” said Nils Jannsen, head of the IfW economy.
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