Industrial orders in Germany are slumping more than forecast by analysts. New data from the Economics Ministry show that orders in April this year took a hit from rapidly decreasing demand abroad.
German industrial orders took a tumble in April, raising concerns that faltering global growth is finally catching up with Europe's biggest economy.
The Economics Ministry said on Tuesday that monthly factory orders fell by 1.9 percent, the biggest decline since November 2011. Analysts had only expected a 1.0-percent drop. It pointed to a below-average number of large foreign orders.
"As was the case with the [unexpected] rebound in March, the sharp decline in April was exaggerated by special factors," the ministry said in a statement.
The fresh data came amid stronger signals that growth in key parts of the world economy such as China and the US is losing momentum. At the same time, Europe's austerity drive has pushed into recession many of Germany's traditional trading partners in the 17-member eurozone.
While orders from nations outside the euro area fell by 4.7 percent in April month-on-month, orders from the single currency bloc declined by 1.8 percent. By contrast, domestic orders edged up 0.4 percent.
"What we're seeing now is that Germany's robust economy cannot remain unfazed by the global crisis forever," BHF Bank Economist Peter Meister told Reuters news agency. "We're likely to see a further slowdown in an economy that depends so heavily on exports."