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German industrial orders show unexpected decline despite stronger demand from eurozone

BERLIN - Industrial orders in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, have shown an unexpected decline despite a rebound in demand from other countries in the eurozone.

The Economy Ministry said Thursday that orders were down 0.5 per cent in December compared with the previous month. That performance was well short of economists' predictions of a 0.2 per cent increase. However, it followed a 2.4 per cent rise in November — revised upward from the initial reading of 2.1 per cent.

Orders from other nations in the eurozone jumped by 7.5 per cent in December. But demand from Germany itself was down 1.6 per cent and orders from other foreign nations declined by 3.7 per cent.

The German economy grew by a modest 0.4 per cent in 2013 but growth is expected to accelerate this year.

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