|German factory orders slump on weak foreign demand
A sharp decline in demand from abroad pushed down German industrial orders in November, official figures showed on Tuesday, raising concerns that a slower global economy could hit output in Europe's powerhouse.
Industrial orders were down by 1.8 percent overall in November compared to the level the previous month, according to data from the economy ministry, AFP reports.
Orders from abroad were down sharply, by 4.1 percent, outweighing solid demand domestically, where orders were up by 1.3 percent.
Nevertheless, the figures followed a very strong October where overall orders soared by 3.8 percent. Taking the two months together to smoothe out volatility, industrial orders were up 1.6 percent overall.
"A decline in orders after a strong surge in demand the previous month is not unusual,'' commented the ministry.
"All in all, demand appears to be stabilising. This is also indicated by a slight improvement in confidence indicators,'' added the ministry in a statement.
Figures in December showed that business confidence in Germany, as measured by the closely watched Ifo institute's monthly survey, improved by more than expected.