In just one week, the German stock market treats us to literally millions of numbers. Add in economic data and overseas stocks, and the amount of numbers can be overwhelming! Fear not: here we’re going to focus on just the numbers that matter most.
The amount by which the Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI ) – an industry trade group that represents more than 1,650 chemical companies including DAX heavy hitters BASF (ETR: BAS)(FRA: BAS) and Bayer (ETR: BAYN)(FRA: BAYN) – expects the chemical sector’s sales to grow in 2015.
It also revised its 2014 sales growth projection upwards to the same number, after sales in the latter half of the year came in stronger than previously anticipated. Production is also expected to grow by the same amount. “Demand continues to rise in Europe, our most important market outside Germany,” explained VCI President Marijn Dekkers, who is also the CEO of Bayer. “Business with the U.S. is turning out very good,” he added. VCI also predicted that employment within the sector will rise.
The number of consecutive months that German industrial output has increased, according to the Economy Ministry.
After the largest decline since 2009 occurred in August, and September’s number fell short of analysts’ expectations, back-to-back gains received a favorable reaction. “After the weakness in the six summer months,” the Ministry concluded, “a trough may have been reached in manufacturing as well as in construction.” Indeed, construction increased by 1.4% in October, another encouraging sign.
The amount of goods, in euros, that Germany exported in October, a record high.
Weakness in the euro – it’s currently worth about 1.24 dollars, compared to 1.39 in May – combined with increasing industrial output (referenced above) is creating an excellent environment for German exports, and the Federal Statistical Office reports that it also widened Germany’s trade surplus by 20.6 billion euros. With a free trade agreement between the EU and the United States in the works, exports may continue to rise, which would benefit major exporters like Volkswagen (ETR: VOW)(FRA: VOW) and Siemens (ETR: SIE)(FRA: SIE).
Taken together, you’d think these three numbers would have had investors buying in droves, as they seem to clearly indicate, in the words of the Economy Ministry, that “overall, Germany’s economic recovery is continuing.” But instead…
The amount by which the DAX was down for the week, as of Thursday’s close.
Did this reflect investor dissatisfaction that the recovery wasn’t stronger…at least not yet? Or was it a result of profit-taking after last week’s highs? I can’t say for sure, but I, for one, am keeping an eye out for bargains right now.
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John Bromels does not own any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool doesn't own any of the stocks mentioned.