German industrial orders unexpectedly drop 1.9 per cent in January as eurozone demand slides

BERLIN – Industrial orders in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, declined unexpectedly in January as demand for its exports dropped sharply.

The Economy Ministry said Thursday that orders were down 1.9 per cent compared with the previous month.

Economists had expected an increase of 0.6 per cent, following a gain of 1.1 per cent in December. The December figure was revised up from the initial reading of 0.8 per cent.

The Economy Ministry says the number of large orders was well below average in January. The decline was led by a 4.1 per cent drop in demand from the other 16 European Union countries that use the euro, several of which are in recession — reversing a gain the previous month.

Orders from abroad were down 3 per cent overall while demand from inside Germany slipped by 0.6 per cent.