Germany's industrial orders declined out of economists' expectation in December 2013, mainly due to a drop of domestic demands, according to official data issued on Thursday.
Compared with the previous month, orders in December dropped by 0.5 percent, falling short of economists' expectation of a 0.2 percent increase, following a upwardly-revised increase of 2.4 percent in November, German Economic Ministry said.
The ministry insisted that an increasing trend in the demand for industrial products continued.
Adjusted for seasonal and inflation variations, domestic orders fell by 1.6 percent. Foreign demands, meanwhile, increased slightly by 0.4 percent.
Orders from the euro zone, Germany's largest trading partner, rose by 7.5 percent, signaling that the common currency area was on the track of recovery. Orders from other foreign countries declined by 3.7 percent.
"It is particularly gratifying that the sharp rise in new orders from the euro area indicates a more progressive recovery," said the economic ministry in a statement.
Economists anticipated German economy to accelerate its growth in 2014, following a slight expansion of 0.4 percent last year.
Investment was expected to be another driving force besides domestic consumption, given that external uncertainties was fading and interest rate remained at record low.