Germany sees hefty drop in factory orders in December


German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, left, talks with German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, right, prior for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

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BERLIN (AP) — Factory orders in Germany declined by a hefty 2.1% in December compared with the previous month on a sharp drop in demand from other countries in the eurozone.

The Economy Ministry said Thursday that orders, an important indicator for Europe’s biggest economy, were down 0.5% in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three-month period. The drop in December followed a 0.8% decline in November and a slight gain of 0.2% in October.

Orders from other euro-area nations dropped 13.9%. However, demand from inside Germany was up 1.4% and orders from other countries rose 2.1%.

The ministry said that, excluding bulk orders, the overall decline would have been a more modest 1.3%.

Germany’s economy has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year’s 0.6% growth was the weakest since 2013. Fourth-quarter figures haven’t yet been released, but officials estimated last month that the economy grew slightly compared with the previous quarter.

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