For the first time since January 2020, they were no longer in decline. Overall, orders from abroad were on a par with the previous year, although they fell by 4 percent from the European countries and rose by 2 percent from the non-European countries. In Germany, the machinery and plant manufacturers recorded a small increase in orders of 1 percent. "This results in a pleasing zero in the monthly balance sheet. The low level of orders in the fourth quarter of 2019 did of course have an impact," said VDMA Chief Economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers. "The increasing restrictions and uncertainties resulting from the second corona wave were not yet reflected in the order books in October," he added.

In the less volatile three-month period from August to October 2020, incoming orders fell by 8 percent in real terms compared with the previous year. Domestic orders were down 5 percent, while foreign orders were down 9 percent on the previous year. Orders from both the euro zone and non-euro countries shrank by 9 percent.