German factory orders rose a strong 3.4 percent in February, driven by strong domestic demand, following a sharp decline in January.
The Economy Ministry said Thursday that February domestic orders were up 8.1 percent over the previous month, while foreign orders remained flat as a drop of 2.4 percent inside the eurozone was offset by a 1.6-percent increase from outside the bloc. New orders dropped 6.8 percent in January, including 9.6 percent domestically, according to calendar and seasonally adjusted figures.
"New orders have always been volatile, but the fluctuations and size of volatility since late summer have been almost unprecedented," said ING economist Carsten Brzeski. Looking through the volatility, he said, the trend is "slightly positive, though still not as positive and strong as current confidence indicators are suggesting."