Germany: factory orders unexpectedly lower in February

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BERLIN (AP) — Factory orders in Germany, a key indicator for Europe's biggest economy, fell unexpectedly in February because of lower foreign demand and a below-average number of bulk orders.

The Economy Ministry said Tuesday orders were down 1.2 percent compared with the previous month. Economists had expected a 0.2 percent gain. However, the January figure was revised significantly to show a 0.5 percent gain rather than the 0.1 percent decline originally reported.

The ministry said orders from inside Germany were up 0.9 percent but foreign demand dropped 2.7 percent. That was led by a 3.7 percent decline in orders from other eurozone countries.

ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski described the data as "another piece of evidence that the German industry is treading water, as it is suffering from a cooling of global activity."