Material shortages ease in German industry but carmakers struggling

FILE PHOTO: Technicians work at the production line for electric car models of the Volkswagen Group, in Zwickau

BERLIN (Reuters) - Material supply problems in German industry have fallen to their lowest level in over a year and a half, according to a survey released on Wednesday, although many orders still cannot be processed with well over half of companies reporting issues.

In November, 59.3% of companies surveyed reported material shortages, the Ifo economic institute said, the lowest level since April 2021. This compared with 63.8% in October.

"The numbers give us hope. Nevertheless, it's too early to say that the situation has fundamentally eased," Klaus Wohlrabe, head of surveys at Ifo, said in a statement.

In the automotive industry, the share of companies facing shortages in fact rose from 74.9% to 83.2%, the survey showed. The situation eased for manufacturers of machinery and equipment but 78.7% of those companies still faced problems.

Manufacturers of basic metals saw fewest supply problems in November at 16.1%.

(Writing by Rachel More; Editing by Andrew Heavens)