German factory orders sharply dropped in January at the fastest pace in seven months, defying expectations for further gains, mainly due to a slump in external demand, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Friday.
Manufacturing orders decreased a seasonally and calendar adjusted 2.6 percent month-on-month, while economists were looking for a modest 0.5 percent gain.
The latest fall in orders was the worst since a 3.6 percent slump in last June.
After considering major orders received subsequently, December’s 1.6 percent decline in orders was revised to a 0.9 percent increase.
Excluding major orders, manufacturing orders fell 2.5 percent monthly in January.
Domestic orders decreased 1.2 percent and foreign orders fell 3.6 percent in January. Demand from the euro area shrunk 2.6 percent and bookings from other countries fell 4.2 percent.
Orders for intermediate goods dropped 1.1 percent and those for capital goods plunged 3.6 percent. Demand for consumer goods decreased 1.4 percent.
On a year-on-year basis, factory orders decreased 3.9 percent in January after a 4.5 percent decline in December, revised from 7 percent. Economists had forecast a 3.10 percent fall.