FRANKFURT (AP) -- German manufacturing sales slid a record 23.3 percent in February compared to a year earlier, the Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday.
The Wiesbaden-based office said sales for the month were dragged lower by consumer reluctance to spend, noting that the German automotive industry's sales sank nearly 40 percent lower compared to February 2008.
The agency said domestic sales dropped by 19.5 percent while sales from business with foreign customers fell 27.5 percent. Sales to the 16-nation euro zone fell 25.9 percent while and sales to other countries were down 28.9 percent.
Germany has Europe's biggest economy and is the world's largest exporter. It has been hard-hit by a slump in global demand for its products, and went into recession in last year's third quarter.