Orders placed with German manufacturing companies fell unexpectedly in September according to figures released by the country's economics and labor ministry on Thursday. Economists had expected an increase of at least one percent. But orders fell 0.2 percent from August as rising unemployment continued to weigh on domestic demand, since it has caused people to rein in their spending. The September drop was the third in the last four months and economist say it underlines an underlying weakness in orders. Growth prospects have also been hampered by the continuing appreciation of the euro, which makes German exports, a key driver of the economy, more expensive abroad.