BERLIN (AP) -- Industrial orders in Germany dropped unexpectedly in June, the government said Wednesday, with foreign orders leading a decline that underlined pessimism about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy.
Orders dropped by 2.9 percent on the month in June, following a 1.4 percent drop in May, the Economy Ministry said.
That dashed analysts' forecast of a 0.4 percent increase and marked an unprecedented seventh consecutive decrease, said Alexander Koch, an economist at UniCredit in Munich.
Orders from inside Germany decreased by 0.6 percent in June, but those from abroad dropped by 5.1 percent, according to government figures. Orders from other countries in the 15-nation euro zone slumped by 7.7 percent.
Strong exports have been a key driver of Germany's economic upswing over recent years. However, the outlook for the economy has darkened amid recent declines in business, investor and consumer confidence.
The Finance Ministry has said that the economy likely contracted in the second quarter. Quarterly growth figures are expected on Aug. 14.
Wednesday's report showed that second-quarter industrial orders were down 4.1 percent from the previous quarter. That, Koch said, was the strongest decrease since the second quarter of 1992.
"The support from already-received orders is drying up very quickly, suggesting an end to the boom days in industrial production is close at hand," he said.