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German industrial orders have picked up markedly as a surprisingly high number of big-ticket assignments have come in from foreign nations. But domestic demand has continued to be on the downside.
Monthly German factory orders climbed by 0.8 percent in December after contracting 1.8 percent in the previous months, the Economics Ministry announced on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, total foreign orders rose by 2.4 percent, with a 7 percent rise in demand in the 17-member eurozone clearly leading the jump at the end of last year.
Analysts viewed the development as hope that the currency bloc was now on a path of slow recovery after the debt crisis drove much of the region into recession.
No recovery on the home front
"The increase in orders was a favorable sign for the development of industrial production in the current year," the ministry announced. "Together with the improvement in the business climate in recent months, leading indicators are signaling an anticipated end of the weakness in industrial activity."
Quarter-on-quarter, German orders gained 1 percent in the final three months of 2012. "These new data add clear evidence that the German industry has reached a turning point," ING Bank economist Carsten Brzeski said.
The overall rise in orders, however, could not conceal a 1.2 percent slump in domestic demand in December, cancelling out a 1.5 percent gain in November.
hg/mkg (dpa, AP, AFP)