Confident economy: signs of post-corona boom

The mood in the North Rhine-Westphalian economy has improved significantly in view of the progress made with corona vaccinations and the lower number of infections. In May, the NRW.Bank economic barometer rose to its highest level in two years. The signs are good that the NRW economy is "turning into a historic boom", announced the state-owned bank on Wednesday. In some sectors, prices are expected to rise sharply.

The strong upswing in mood in the NRW.Bank.ifo business climate is based primarily on the sharply increased business expectations of companies for the next six months. But the North Rhine-Westphalian companies also rated their current business situation noticeably better. Even companies in the service sector assess their business situation as positive for the first time since the beginning of the Corona crisis. In the hospitality industry in particular, optimism is returning with the easing.

The economic watchers are concerned about the growing shortage of materials. The bottlenecks have the potential to slow down the construction industry. In the manufacturing sector too, the lack of raw materials and intermediate products is causing increasing problems for companies.

Mechanical and plant engineering in North Rhine-Westphalia also reported positive numbers on Wednesday. According to the industry association VDMA, incoming orders in April were 83 percent higher than in the same month of the previous year. In April 2020, however, there was a particularly sharp drop in orders during the first lockdown. "The upswing is clearly gaining momentum," said Hans-Jürgen Alt from the VDMA. The main driver of the positive development was exports. Orders from abroad have more than doubled compared to April 2020, orders from Germany increased by 50 percent.

Industrial production was still below pre-crisis levels in April. Compared to April 2020, it rose by 21,9 percent, as announced by the State Statistical Office. Compared to April 2019, however, the production index recorded a decrease of 1,7 percent.