Germany sees hefty drop in factory orders last December

BERLIN (AP) — Factory orders in Germany declined by a hefty 2.1 per cent last December compared with the previous month on a sharp drop in demand from other countries in the eurozone.

The Economy Ministry said yesterday that orders, an important indicator for Europe’s biggest economy, were down 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three-month period.

The drop last December followed a 0.8 per cent decline last November and a slight gain of 0.2 per cent last October.

Orders from other euro-area nations dropped 13.9 per cent.

However, demand from inside Germany was up 1.4 per cent and orders from other countries rose 2.1 per cent.

The ministry said that, excluding bulk orders, the overall decline would have been a more modest 1.3 per cent.

Germany’s economy has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year’s 0.6 per cent growth was the weakest since 2013.

Fourth-quarter figures haven’t yet been released, but officials estimated last month that the economy grew slightly compared with the previous quarter.